We were just two blocks from home. Sitting at a red light watching people on the crosswalk as they followed the chicken to the other side of the road. Near the end an elderly woman, in a power wheelchair, worked her way through the crowded crosswalk to the curb cut on the other side.
There she found another crowd, standing, blocking her way up onto the sidewalk. She looked up. Everyone saw her, but no one responded to her presence. My window was down a bit, to let in the nearly warm weather, and I heard her ask for space so she could pass by. Everyone, then, moved to make a pathway for her.
As she came by me, she spotted me in the car, saw my wheelchair sitting behind me, and smiled. A real genuine smile. Then she pointed, with a gesture of her head, to the crowd behind her and rolled her eyes. We both laughed.
She gave me a big wave, and she was off.
I love these little moments of community. Moments where you know, absolutely know, that another has had the same experience and totally gets what that experience means.
There can be an isolation that comes from being alone in an experience. That isolation is lifted in the briefest of encounters.
I could see by her grin that it was lifted for her.
I hope she could see by mine, that it was lifted for me too.