But by reason of our common humanity we are all, whether rich or poor, more nearly related here than we are apt to think. The members of the great human family are, in fact, bound together by a thousand secret ties, of whose existence the world in general little dreams. And he that was never connected with his poorer neighbour, by deeds of charity or love, may one day find, when it is too late, that he is connected with him by a bond which may bring them both, at once, to a common grave.– William Budd (1931)
The most fulfilling friendships I have began as an unexpected encounter, blossoming into a series of genuine interactions which continue to shape the trajectory of my life. The spontaneity of their presence astounds me, always causing the same questions to occupy my mind. Where have these people come from? And how did they know when to appear, at pivotal moments?
People seem to emerge from hidden corners of the world, arriving from different paths. Converging at a specific time and place, with myself at the centre. It is strange to think that this effect is also mirrored in their own lives, with each person orbiting around each other. Held in place by the stories shared, gravitating towards an unseen, yet better future.
Each moment created from such interactions leaves an imprint within me, coaxing my mind to bloom and change how I perceive myself as well as the microcosm we inhabit. Who are we without people? Are we truly alive without powerful conversations and life-altering experiences?
There will be some who remain in your circle for several years, but do not reach the level of profundity you seek. Others will cross paths with you, for an hour, a month or a year. These travellers carry an immense amount of knowledge and wisdom, the key to unlocking such information rests within yourself. You must be willing to be as open as the sky above, to accept how transient you are. Our inability to acknowledge the impermanence of our existence limits us from truly living.
Upon their departure, it is easy to spiral into despair. But their lack of presence is not something to be missed or mourned, it is an opportunity for you to recognise what has been gained. A lesson taught through anecdotes, collated along the journey they have been on thus far. The disappearance of a newfound friend, creates space for what will come next. As a result, unearthing chance itself in the emptiness you find yourself enveloped in.
Recognising the point at which our lives intersect, and understanding how the aftermath of these collisions has changed us – for better or worse; is vital for moving forward. In moving forward, we become the wanderers we meet. I now walk for the sake of walking, in hopes of bursting the bubble I created for myself at childhood’s hour. Letting life engrave its lessons into my mind and allowing them to propel the expansion of my once enclosed heart, carving itself into a bloodline of my own choosing.
Where did you meet your last serendipitous stranger? How did they affect you, if they did at all? And are you capable of becoming one yourself?