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The stranger I met

I love going to the park early in the morning. Nothing can beat the refreshing smell of the sweet grass and the wide range of different coloured and scented flowers. Each flower has its own unique scent, all similar yet so different if you really pay close attention. But it is not only the swirl of amazing, different aromas that calls to me. The sights are absolutely astonishing as well, the way that the bright, almost luminescent pink, purple, yellow and blue flowers are sprinkled across the soft, dark green grass leaves me speechless every time. The way the sun rays dance upon and flow with the slight ripples in the dam water is indescribable, they flow and dance together in complete harmony.  I can sit there in complete silence for hours in awe and become absorbed in the enchantment of the beauty that surrounds me. One of the most fascinating aspects of the park would have to be the people that come there.

Some people will come to the park dripping in sweat from their morning run, some people prefer to run alone while others might bring a friend or their furry family member/s with them. I take a seat on the black bench that overlooks the dam which has officially become my everyday seat. You can truly embrace and appreciate the park, which feels like it comes out of a fairy tale. The runners and cyclists come past me and we always exchange a friendly yet meaningful and genuine greeting. They all wear bright colours, mainly blinding pink, yellow, orange and green. I always like to think that they are like the flowers, the only difference is that they can move. And much like the flowers although they are each so different from each other they are all beautiful and perfect in their way. Each has their own story, their own struggles and their own goals that they fight and keep to themselves, each unique and strong in their own way. Each silently battling their own “demons” every day but still trying and staying strong, becoming stronger in the process. They are all so brave, so strong, so stunning and breath taking.

I love to observe people and try figure out who they are and what they like. I never say more to them than a genuine greeting and a “how do you do.” But I was surprised when this one lady sat down next to me on the bench. We exchange greetings. A slight breeze blew my way as she sat on the bench next to me and I got a waft of lavender scent that lingered in my nostrils for a while. I was very intrigued to try understand this young lady. I look at her using the dam water as a mirror. She has a grey jacket on with the hoodie on her head, I can’t help but think of how peculiar that is, it is very warm today not the type of weather a jacket is needed for. Is the jacket a way of hiding herself from the world, a way to block everyone out perhaps? If so, has she been hurt really badly before? Would the pain have caused her to cover up and not allow anyone in? Maybe the jacket is to cover herself up. To cover up paintings that tell her story on her body, paintings from beauty or paintings from pain? Her long golden, Rapunzel- like hair covers most of her face. Is this intentional or accidental? She seems to be trying to hide her face, hide her beauty, hide her smile, hide her sparkling blue eyes from the world. Someone must have lied and told her that she is not pretty in the past. Everyone is breath taking from their strength and their beauty inside that shines its way outside. She is so young; she must be at least 16 years of age. So young yet you can see so much pain in her eyes, her smile may distract you and say she is happy but her eyes seem to be screaming for someone to notice her and to help her. Her hands seem like they have just been moisturised, that must be the lavender smell.

Lavender is generally used to help with anxiety, depression, stress, physical pain and insomnia. She has earphones in, I can hear the music slightly. It consists of classic rock; you can hear the guitar solos and the beautiful melodies created through a perfect mixture of harmonies. She listens intensely and closing, almost getting lost in the music. Her hand seems to move as though she is playing the guitar, she is on key with the guitar in the song. I can’t help but think that she will be the next biggest rock musician. The best way to express any and all emotions is through art.  I feel like this young lady is going to go far, I am routing for her. I may not know what she is going through or what she has been through, I do not know what her daily struggles are but I admire this young lady. She seems so hurt yet she still stays strong and seems to have hope for a better future.

Everyone is fighting their own internal battles that we will never know about. We must be kind to everyone because you never know what they are going through. One act of kindness could literally make someone’s day better or possibly save someone’s life. Everyone hates to be judged and abandoned yet we judge and abandon others. We must break this cycle; we must be kind to others and try to be understanding. You will never know how big of an impact your cruel words may have on someone but your kind words will only ever have a good impact. We cannot take away others’ pain but we can actively make changes to lessen the pain that others may feel.

We are walking story books, some story seem clear, some blurry, and some totally confusing, it is amazing how we talk to each other without uttering a word, it is amazing how we can enter the hearts and heads of strangers without them being aware. THE STRANGER I MET.

Blogpost by Simmonne Malan