From the park bench she was sitting on, she had a perfect view of the pond. She was particularly fond of this place and had been since she was a little girl; her parents used to take her and her little brother to this very same spot every Sunday when they were kids. Reminiscing about her childhood always brought a smile to her face, and it felt nice being back.
Emma had recently made this a new habit of hers; she simply adored peeking into strangers’ lives from her vantage point, standing in their shoes for a brief moment, and imagining what brought them to the park on that glorious Sunday morning. Returning to the park was her way of welcoming happiness in the form of fond memories, and ultimately a wonderful weekend plan for encouraging a positive mindset for the week to come.
This Sunday, in particular, would turn out to be very special for Emma.
She rode her bike to the park early in the morning, which was a first for her, and wasn’t surprised to see there was barely anybody there. She had been looking forward to this the entire week: watching the sunrays as they made their royal entrance over the pond and soaking up the light and quietness that invaded the park for a short couple of minutes. The air filled with the intoxicating aroma of the flowers in full bloom and the ever soothing sound of the birds chirping from the intimacy provided by the trees. Oh, the tranquility! Oh, the joy it brought to her senses! She lay there; her mind clear of toxic thoughts, of to-do lists, of responsibilities… she just lay there in silence, and for a moment it was just her, the park, and the sun. A single thought crossed her mind: “I must thank Old Pete.”
With the beginning of the new season, Emma felt like the fresh Spring breeze gave her renewed strengths and a feeling that she could conquer the world.
Indeed, Spring brought about a refreshed atmosphere. Like a breath of fresh air, the soft light of the sunbeams washed the surface of the pond, gleaming in its turn, giving the whole scene a magical glow that was difficult to miss. Like looking through a pastel-colored lense, everything around her was utterly charming: children meeting other children and playing around the park as if they had known each other for ages. Couples back riding or walking their dogs and falling in love with each other all over again. People relaxing under the forgiving shade of the trees in full bloom. The flower cart by the entrance displaying its latest array of flowers was decidedly something out of this world.
Slowly, the park filled up with visitors who scattered about the lawn, around the pond, and under the trees. Among them, there were some familiar faces that Emma had already become accustomed to and one she wasn’t expecting at all. Not there. Not then:
– Oh hey, stranger!
And her heart skipped a bit…