That’s what we say when we bump into someone unexpectedly, or find out we know the same people. But do you believe it? Is it a small world after all, or is that just a Disney ride with an incredibly annoying theme song?
Susie from Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride is a force of nature in the blogging world. You may have met her here when she enjoyed the distinguished honor of being Freshly Pegged. If you’re smart, you hang out at her place routinely. Although Susie and I are blogging buddies, we’ve never met. That almost changed recently when we were half a world away from home.
You probably know I took a trip to England a few weeks ago. One clue would be that I did a post about the royal birth, and haven’t shut up about the trip since.
I didn’t announce my plans beforehand, and it wasn’t until I got back that I discovered that Susie was in the same place at the same time. Literally.
She and her sweetie went on a whirlwind, “If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Belgium” kind of vacation around Europe. She marked the trip with a fun game on her blog, “Where In the World Is The Wild Rider Now?” where she posted vibrant pictures of the sights she saw, and asked readers to identify the places.
I recognized a photo from her last post because I had just been there. When we compared notes, it seems we were both in the Kensington Gardens in Hyde Park, London, probably on the same day.
Not that we saw the same things.
Kensington Gardens are in the front yard of Kensington Palace, the London home of William and Kate, proud new parents of Little Prince Georgie. Susie observed a gorgeous, sunlit garden by the palace. Her artist’s eye captured the serene beauty of the place in this lovely photo. Surely the blooming flowers are a metaphor for the new life to be found within the palace walls?
I snapped my photo at the Round Pond in front of the palace. Instead of stunning beauty, my eye was drawn to the spectacle of one bird attacking and killing a smaller bird while their feathered friends looked on in dismay. (That, or they were waiting their turn to get their licks in. I couldn’t tell what the other birds thought, bird expressions being notoriously hard to interpret.) Witnessing this in front of the palace after the birth of a new heir seemed, to me, to be another metaphor. A metaphor for the struggle to the death that has marked the path to the throne for much of history.
Almost meeting Susie in London was “small world” indeed, but it isn’t my most impressive example.
Years ago, my hubby and I vacationed in Rome and had a 1/2-hour stopover in Zurich on the way back. Since there was no way I was going to be in Switzerland without scoring some chocolate, I dashed into the duty free shop and hoped the plane wouldn’t leave without me.
The store was stocked with expensive perfumes, liquors and chocolate. I only had eyes for the later. As I backed up to let my eyes take in the whole, sweet display, I collided with a gentleman who was performing the same appraisal of the liquor selection. We turned at the same time to apologize and I saw I hadn’t booty-bumped a random stranger…it was my cousin’s husband, Chris.
He had been on a business trip in Italy and took a train to Zurich. He was killing time in the duty-free shop because his plane home to Seattle didn’t leave for several hours. The “what are the odds” quality of this meeting had us both sputtering in disbelief.
Later I couldn’t help thinking, what if one of us had been doing something they shouldn’t, like having a clandestine meeting with a lover? Just my luck, I’d be feeling smugly anonymous that far from home, and BAMM! Busted.
My take-away lesson was this; it IS a small world after all. Not only is God watching, but you never know when you’ll run into someone who will rat you out if you misbehave.
While I’m bummed that Susie and I didn’t meet on this trip, I hold out the hope that we’ll bump into one another someday, somewhere else in the world. And since I know I would have treated you to a pitcher of Pimm’s in London, that means it will be your turn to buy when we DO meet, Susie.