The sun is setting earlier, and the shadows are getting longer. Competition for benches in the sun on the Common steps up (though, it’s not exactly frenetic). The one where the warmth will last the longest has one occupant already.
I wander over, and sit down. ‘What’s your story?’ I tell her. She has cancer, complications, ex and son 3,000 miles away, tricky situation on this side of the Pond as well. She cries. I reach out for this stranger’s hand. It is welcomed. Twenty minutes which might have made a difference.
We share experiences. Victims? I hope not, but some common understanding.
In our busy lives we can rush by the person on the bench.
Chance encounters are like the moment when a great song is played on the radio; an unexpected bonus, not planned. They can be fun, they can fill a void, they can be uplifting.
I hope it’s still ok to sit next to strangers.