I visited a model village with my kids last summer and something really quite surprising happened. I bumped into someone who I had last seen over twenty years ago. This was a young woman (back then) who I had known for just three months over the summer when we were both students. We’d been working at the same summer camp in the States and then travelled together with a group of other students.
The funny thing is that we hadn’t kept in touch over the intervening years. We said goodbye at the end of the three months and I really didn’t expect to see her again. It wasn’t that we’d fallen out or anything like that—just that the relationship had been a fleeting one.
So imagine my surprise when someone called my name out of the blue while I was watching my kids play in the model village’s playground. It took me a few seconds, but I pretty soon worked out that this person was none other than my old student acquaintance. Seemed like neither of us had changed that much over the years. Quite a relief in some ways, I suppose.
Anyway, it transpired that she was now married like me, with two kids roughly the same age as mine. She had been a student in Sheffield and had stayed up north until very recently, when she moved down south to be near her parents (cost efficient childcare!).
Neither of us lives very close to the model village. We just both happened to take a trip there on the same day at the same time and happened to bump into and recognise one another. And it wasn’t even definite that my family were going to the model village that day—it had been a toss up between that and another attraction. If we’d opted for that other attraction, I wouldn’t have bumped into my old acquaintance.
So what are the chances? It makes you wonder how many other people from your past you may have brushed shoulders with and just not recognised. Maybe that old adage about it being a small world is true after all.