Earlier this week, when I was on the way back home from dropping Kim off at work, I reached a certain intersection downtown and stopped for the red light. It was about 8 o’clock in the morning and I was heading northbound.
At the cross street, a pedestrian waited on one corner for the light to change. She was carrying a small white plastic bag with something round in it, like a ball, and repeatedly pressed the button trying to make the light change in her favor. It did change eventually and she crossed the street, southbound, towards the little strip mall on the other side as I drove through the intersection towards home.
About 3 hours later, I left the house to run a few errands and ended up crossing that same intersection, this time heading southbound. A I drove through it, I noticed that same lady carrying the same bag crossing the same street in the same direction as before. “An odd coincidence,” I think to myself. “What are the odds of that happening?” I go on my way and my thoughts return to getting a few things done.
About an hour and a half later, I was heading back home and drove by that intersection one more time. To my surprise, there she was, crossing the intersection yet again in the opposite direction as she was when I encountered her earlier, carrying that same plastic bag.
She must have finished her errands too and was also heading back home. Or was she? There might be a story behind all of this that goes much deeper. Perhaps she was stuck at that intersection, crossing back and forth the whole time from when I first saw her until I last saw her. Or maybe she was lost. I guess I’ll never know, but I’ve found myself looking for her each time I’ve passed that corner since then. In my mind, the experience that day has become some sort of metaphor for the many crossings we have to face in our lives. Getting stuck or lost sometimes are part of the game and somehow, we survive.