Today, I had one of those moments in which our soul connects with that of a complete stranger, and we feel such a rush of pure love, it's almost painful.
Before I start, you need to know that apart from a feeling of gratitude for the lucky accident of birth which allowed me to be born in this country, I've never been particularly patriotic, and I consider myself a pacifist in every way.
I was at the grocery store late this afternoon, just as dusk was falling. Near the exit, were two elderly men in uniform, war veterans, standing behind a table with a donation box, some literature, and poppies. As my purchases were being rung through by the cashier, I realised that I was being moved to go over and speak to them, urged along by something greater than myself. I get these nudges now and then, and oftentimes it's when I'm feeling least like connecting and most like being a comfortable island unto myself, but I've learned to pay attention, and do what I'm being moved to do; it's always an incredible experience.
I walked up to the table, and was greeted with a friendly detachment. They smiled politely at me as I dropped money into the box and chose a poppy, then thanked me nicely, and glanced away. A second later, when they realised I hadn't moved on but was still standing there, they really looked at me, making eye contact, and when they saw that I was struggling to speak through a wave of emotion, they both went very still, and waited.
I swallowed hard over the lump in my throat, and said, "I'd like to thank you gentleman, for what you did for us."
Their faces lit up, and they smiled brilliantly at me, each man's eyes suddenly wet with tears, as were my own. I reached my hand out first to one, and then the other, and when each man grasped my hand, I said softly, "Thankyou."
It was a powerful moment of connection, love and gratitude.