I’ve decided to start an occasional series in here called Life Moments. Throughout my life, particularly when travelling, being in nature, or coming out of periods of sadness, I’ve experienced little moments that seem to encapsulate the things that I love most about life – moments of beauty, humour, honesty, togetherness, spirit.
Here are the first two, I hope you like them.
Walking down the main drag of Coburg, Melbourne, the dirty pavement crowded with cheap wares for sale and a throng of assorted yuppies, artists, young families and groups of teenagers out for a late breakfast and shopping. I hear jaunty, old-fashioned music and see a young busker playing the accordion outside an empty shopfront. He’s wearing the uniform of the Melburnian musician: black jeans, ancient t-shirt and straggly hair, sitting on a milk crate. At the same moment I see an old man approaching from the opposite direction. He’s wearing the uniform of old men in Coburg: greyish trousers belted just a bit too high, a shirt that looks about 20 years old, and wispy grey hair combed neatly across his head. He bends down and drops a coin into the case at the busker’s feet. The busker, who has been completely absorbed in his music, looks up and smiles the most beautiful smile. ‘How are you Steven?’ says the old man. The young musician just nods his head and keeps smiling and playing his accordion. There’s a respect and a kind of love between these two men, young and old, that doesn’t need to be expressed by conversation. I keep walking, but I can’t get the image out of my head: the young busker roused out of his musical reverie and smiling up at the old man. I turn my head for one last look up the street but they’re hidden by the crowds.
The Little Girl
I’m in a shopping centre, all clean hard surfaces and bright fluorescent lighting. I come off the escalator and as I look around I see a little girl with her mother about ten metres away. I take a few steps, thinking about my shopping, then look down and see I’ve got company. The little girl is standing there, stretching her arm up with something for me. It’s a tiny sweet, wrapped in pink plastic. ‘Thankyou’, I say, smiling at her. She runs back to her mother and I feel a happiness that’s out of proportion to the tiny gift in my hand.