It's something I picked up while living in New York City. Being a pedestrian lends itself to striking up conversation with strangers. Sometimes, putting yourself out there is awkward but mostly, I find, it's worth it.
Last weekend, I had two random encounters in the span of 20 minutes and the results of the two were varied yet I enjoyed both.
While walking along the Courtney Campbell Causeway, I came upon a young man doing a fun jumping exercise. It looked like he was getting loose in preparation to run. I walked up beside him and started jumping too.
"Is this what you're doing," I asked to see if my technique was okay. He pointed to his abs as if to accentuate the importance of the twisting motion part of the jump. We continued side by side for a few more seconds and then I declared, "I like it," and continued on my way. Admittedly, I got a split second of side-eye from the guy in the beginning but so what? Our exchange ended with a smile.
The second of the day's random encounters was beautiful. Just beautiful. I was still walking on the CC and on the descent from the highest point a man flew past me on his skateboard as if he had wings. When he reached the bottom, I watched him smile and kiss the sky.
Sidenote: Blowing kisses to the sky is something I started doing on the day of my father's life celebration following his passing, so I could relate to the gesture.
I pulled off my Beats (by Dre) and gestured for him to come over.
"What are you happy about," I asked with a smile that matched his.
"I'm just out here, living life, breathing the air and feeling spiritual," he said.
"I feel you," I replied. "I just didn't want you to be alone in your joy."
With that, Etzel (that was his name) paused, cocked his head to one side and said, "Wow," with shock on his breath.
"What's your name," he asked. I told him. "Wow," he said again shaking his head this time with a hand out to high-five me. "Thank you Leslie."
But I was also grateful. The sharing of this chance encounter and the momentary connection we made was a wonderful way to start the day.
Not-so-random-but-random photo selection: I posted a blossom on this page because it reflects the possibilities of what may come, organically. I found and photographed this beautiful mum (part of a massive floral arrangement) in a vestibule outside of a restaurant bathroom in Jakarta. #random