I am a wanderer. I love to see the world and the people in it. Oftentimes my wandering is dictated by outside forces, but I’ve always been ready to go.
I’ve wandered on foot, by plane, by bicycle, and by car.
I will meander through houses, mine and others, the woods and neighborhoods, stores, through cities and towns near and far.
Wherever I wander, stories find me and the memories of those encounters stay with me. Here are three that will always make me smile.
Once in Ireland, sitting at a Dublin train station, an older woman sat beside me and began to share about her family and her country. She told me she was returning home after being with her daughter, who had given birth to their twelfth grandchild. Another grandson, she said with pride in her eyes.
Yes, there were pictures and lovely tales of her family told as only the Irish can spin.
Recently in a grocery store not far from home, a young woman waiting behind me in the checkout line patted the multi-colored headscarf she wore. “Chemo,” she said. Her eyes misted. She shared her journey with breast cancer. I couldn’t stop myself I squeezed around my full cart of groceries and hugged her.
Walking with my dogs when we lived in the Rio Grande Forest always brought stories. Once a little girl playing outside at one of the rental cabins nearby ask to pet the dogs. My Old English loved on her. The Maltese jumped around all jealous then relaxed when she petted him too. As we walked away, the youngster plucked a purple wildflower and rushed over to give it to me.
Life is filled with so many chance meetings. Each encounter is unique, and I come away with a myriad of feelings from each.
Those characters and emotions from my wandering encounters frequently find their way into my stories. Not the specifics, of course, but the emotions and characterizations.
What about you? Do stories find you in your wanderings?
This gives new meaning to the saying, “All who wander are not lost.” I think you get the most from your wanderings.