Monday, July 24, 2017

The magic of the ordinary

This week's Sunday Letter

Michael Commane OP
Some months back Mary was a patient in St Luke's Hospital. Her husband visited her every day.

We'll call them Mary and John Murphy, which are not their real names.

John is a bus driver with Dublin Bus and embarrassingly, I have to admit that I have a passing interest in buses. Sad to say, I can spot the difference between an SG and a GT Volvo, which are the newest designed buses in the fleet.

So over the weeks that Mary was a patient I had plenty of time to discuss the world of buses with John. Probably greatly annoyed and bored the man. But we had many laughs. He's good-natured and I think we enjoyed each other's company.

The 14 bus is now a cross-city route and works out of two depots, Donnybrook and Summerhill. John is based at Summerhill, which means he occasionally drives the 14.

I have been looking out for him for months, indeed, I have almost fallen off the bicycle while checking drivers on the 14.

Then three weeks ago when getting off a 14 I noticed I was on a Summerhill bus. I asked the driver did she know a John Murphy. She said she did, so I told her I knew him, gave her my name and asked her to say hello to him from me.

Within a week I received an SMS from John. The bus driver had passed on my greeting to him and he in turn sent me a text to say hello.

A tiny little episode in the scheme of things but how delightful. It put a smile on my face. And to add to the story, Mary, his wife, is in good health.

See, the little things. And all right in front of our eyes. Not in some far off exotic land but here in my own place.

Isn't it  the poet William Wordsworth who sees the extraordinary in the ordinary things right in front of us? At times so easy to miss, what a shame. But the magic when we see it.

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