Lifetime Apart

Sitting at the bus the other day, I saw a young mother coming in with her little child in the stroller. The mother sat down on a free seat next to the parked stroller, pulled her cell phone out and started to text with someone. Completely uninterested in what was going on around her, or her baby, the young mother kept smiling to herself as she was on her cell phone.

A couple of stops later, an elderly woman walked onboard the bus. One could tell that the lines in her face were traces of a lifetime of joy and laughter, but also sadness and fatigue. As she was about to walk by the stroller with the child she suddenly stopped. The bus started to move, and the old woman just stood still, watching the child in the stroller.

From where I was sitting, I observed the whole situation with a little bit of sadness in my eyes, thinking that this is what life looks like. From a baby in a stroller, to an old woman on the bus. Their eyes met, and the little child smiled to the woman as she stood crooked next to the stroller. Watching how this little human being who just entered this planet had so much to look forward to, so much to learn and so many mistakes to make. A lifetime apart, was standing just next to each other on a bus. And it was the most natural, yet remarkable situation. The little child is most probably going to have a complete different childhood than the elderly woman was ever given. Not because of the family, religion or ethnicity that the happen to be born in, but the time. The time that they two were born are completely different, and so is the world that they will live in.

Is it fair? Is it a choice? Who decided which year the two should be born in? Who decides what the world is suppose to be like as they grow up? Can one really say that growing up and growing old in one time if better than another?

Is it not amazing how two people that meet in the same time, will really have lived in two completely different worlds? Perhaps a little bit too philosophical, yet, I was stunned by the look of them two, as their eyes met. Although the little child most probably sought for attention, as its mother was too busy texting on her cell phone, I am pretty certain that there were a lot of thoughts running through the mind of the elderly woman.

Two eyes met, shared a smile, and a bus ride away they parted again. Just an ordinary day where extraordinary things are so small, that you might miss them if you don’t look up from your cell phone screen.

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