“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Making Connections

This afternoon, I travelled up to Birmingham on the train to have dinner with some friends, who are leading a workshop for me tomorrow. Normally, I find train journeys fairly tedious, and bury myself in a book. But this one was different.

When I arrived on Platform 2 of Northampton station, there was an elderly couple (obviously grandparents) with a little boy (aged 2, as I later discovered). I thought they were waiting for the same train as me, and made a mental note to move along the platform when it arrived, as the young man was questionsome, to say the least. But I'm so glad I didn't. The grandmother was talking to him about the freight train that was going through, and I asked the grandfather if they were travelling to Birmingham, like me. He replied: "Oh no, we're here for two hours every week. He just loves the trains."

He went on to tell a lovely story about a kindly guard who let them travel to Long Buckby (the next station) and back for nothing, because he knew young J. would be so thrilled. And I felt so warm, just to be a part of this lovely story.

Next, on the train, I got talking to a couple of young women who got on at Rugby. One of them sounded similar to a friend of mine, so I took a risk, and asked if her family had come from Jamaica. At first she was a bit wary (was I being racist?) but when I explained that I wanted to pick her brains about Caribbean funeral traditions, she couldn't have been more helpful (or informative).

Finally, a young woman in a niqab, with just her eyes showing, was travelling with a young boy, who had a runny nose. So I fished in my handbag and passed over a tissue. And she thanked me, and gave me such a grateful look.

All this on one journey. I felt honoured to be a part of the human race.



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