To All the Memorable Strangers

Monday, April 26

By Caroline Hughes

To the girl I met on the little island when I was 7, short brown hair and a gap in her front teeth-

I liked your dad's boat. We dug a pretty good tidepool didn't we?


To the pretty teacher at my little red schoolhouse in New Jersey, who came to sit with the shy 3 year old on her first day of daycare-

I remember I looked up at the sky and asked you where the clouds were going- and you told me all about the wide expanse we call our world. You are the reason I crave adventure.


To the dad of my childhood best friend, who was the only one able to teach me to tie my shoes, who brought me a popsicle when I fell off my bike and scraped the hell out of my face-

Honestly? I still think of you every time I double bunny ear my shoes.


To the lead singer of the bluegrass band at one event or another that I went to, with kind eyes and a grey beard, who noticed little me dancing to all their songs and snuck me a cd of their music-

Bluegrass still feels like childhood joy because of you.


And to the Spanish teacher down the hall, who came to the bathroom where I stood comforting my crying friend, and who came back in with tissues, candy, and a smile-

Thank you. Simple kindnesses can really be so profound.


And to the old woman who walks the length of my neighborhood everyday, who is always out no matter the weather, always with a glowing smile on her face-

You are a daily reminder to find joy in my day


And to the many more whose faces escape me, those who only left behind their lessons,

To all these perfect strangers, all the moments of the simplest and best of people-

Maybe your name lies forgotten in my mind, your face slightly out of the reach of my memory.

But never the feelings.

You have touched me in ways neither of us know.

I am a patchwork of your moments in my life, of the tiniest beauties that you showed me.



I hope you are well.

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