I had the most wonderful interaction this morning on my run. It was both a boost to my ego and my spirit all at once. I stopped for a few seconds to say “hi” to a basset hound that was waddling up to me and it’s owner, an older gentleman I have nodded at when we pass each other, wanted to tell me something. He said, “I have to tell you, you are really looking great. I’ve watched you running by me for the past year and I’ve noticed that you are really shaping up. Good job!.” I was delighted that this stranger would take a moment to give me kudos! It really brightened my morning.
It also reminded me of a train of thought I often have while running.
For years I have been an early morning runner and, no matter where I’ve lived, I always run into the same people in the mornings when I run. We usually nod and smile and say “good morning” as we pass each other and that’s it. I often wonder about these little interactions – these little tiny bonds that form with these strangers that share the same time and space with me three times a week. It’s hard to intellectualize because it seems like it happens on a level that is more intuitive. But, indeed, a kind of bond is being formed with these people.
It was nice to be reminded of this today, and to be encouraged by a so-called stranger.
2 thoughts on “On cultivating tiny bonds with strangers”
I get this, though I don’t run. When I was 12 I used to ride the city bus to school early twice a week for choir practice. It was always the same half-dozen riders and driver, and though we seldom spoke, there was a certain connection, camaraderie even, among those of us on our ways to wherever at 6:30 am. It was obvious but never called out.
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Yes! Exactly. It’s kind of an interesting relationship. You see them on a consistent basis but don’t cultivate a relationship in the classic sense. Though a kind of relationship is being cultivated regardless