Aug 21, 2010

Friendly nameless extras

It was a lovely day today full of blue skies, singing birds and cars parked all over the place as their drivers went into various buildings to vote. I wonder why Australia only has the single day for people to vote. If it were a week then there would be shorter lines at the booths.

I walked past rows of cars on this fine day, intending to reach the shop that sells serendipity ice cream. I thought I would just get my death by chocolate and be on my way but as it happened my plan was foiled by the dreaded lack of planning.

How was I to know that the only shop I have found that sells serendipity ice cream closes at 2:30 on a Saturday? I was twenty minutes too late to get my death by chocolate so I ended up walking to McDonald's and getting one of their cheap yet sugary soft serves.

I was bored out of my mind. I went to Angus and Robinson's book shop but wasn't enthusiastic enough to browse for long. I went by the British Lolly shop but didn't really feel like stopping for sherbet strawberries. I ended up just walking through town until I reached the path that leads to West Port Park.

I had my ever present Jack Skellington bag that contained my Art book and pencil case, so I sat at a bench near West Port Park and looked at the lovely view of the waterfront and tried to draw. . . something.

Several somethings. I tried drawing a duck that wandered past but it looked far too cartoonish. I considered drawing a boat that I saw drifting in the water but my heart wasn't in it. So again, when all else failed, I started drawing my feet. I don't think I will even finish this one I already have a drawing of my feet.

I was sitting there sketching the square tiles of the path beneath the park bench, when I heard someone walking near. She remains nameless, because she didn't say her name. She did however tell me her dog of 12 years was called Molly. I only spoke with her for a short time, but it certainly brightened my day.

You would think people that talk to young teenagers that sit alone sketching pictures of the ground were weirdos. Some of them are, I'll admit, but Molly's owner was a nice person. A bit eccentric perhaps, but still nice. She came over saying "Oh I thought you were reading, but you're drawing! What are you drawing?"

I was a little embarrassed when I admitted I was, in fact, drawing my feet. I didn't think the drawing was turning out all that well but when she said it was looking great it made me feel good. Sure she was probably just being nice but a little compliment can go a long way.

She introduced me to molly, the little white furred dog that scampered along with it's leash dragging behind it. I have no shame in admitting that I liked Molly much more than the dog I encountered during my Newspaper Run. Molly in no way resembled Cerberus.

There was more casual talk between Molly's owner and I. She asked questions people usually ask kids, but she didn't do it in a demeaning way like allot of people do. It wasn't really our conversation that was memorable, I can't even remember most of it and it happened only an hour or two ago. What was memorable was how optimistic this lady was.

"So do you think you did well in your exams this year?" she asked.
"Um. . . yeah I guess I did OK." I replied. I don't often talk to randoms at the park, can you tell?
"Well are you happy with how you did?" she persisted. It seemed that she didn't want to leave until she had me feeling better about something.
"I guess. . . yeah. Yeah I think I did pretty good actually. Better than I thought I would do." I answered, already feeling more cheerful.

The lady commented on what a wonderful day it was, how nice the weather had been and she even mentioned what a great area it was to walk around and explore. I'll admit that before this conversation, I had been noticing every broken bottle, every discarded plastic bag, every corner that smelled of cigarette smoke. Port Macquarie hadn't seemed all that wonderful until she mentioned it.

I know that at least two of my readers haven't ever been to Port Macquarie, so let me tell you it is in fact a lovely place. The weather is pretty nice allot of the time, there are plenty of nice places to walk. You can't look anywhere without spotting a waterfront or seeing a car with surf boards on the roof racks. I even took some pictures on my phone. Awful quality I am no photographer, but this is a little bit of West Port Park.

Molly and her owner eventually ended up walking on leaving me with a sense of optimism. Sometimes we forget to notice the little wonders don't we? That is what people like Molly's owner are for, to remind us.

It wasn't untill I got home that I realised I had tried to get serendipity, and that serendipity meant to accidentally stumble apon something great. You can't have a serendipitous moment if you TRY to have one.


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