Dear Shari*

This small event was a highlight of my day.

I saw you about 100m ahead of me on the walking/running/cycling trail. You were running towards me. Your gait suggested you were a runner, not just a jogger. Your head was steady, held high, looking ahead. Your stride was confident, even, straight legs, bouncing lightly on your toes, arms held high and close. It was a beautiful sight – athletic, nice body, feminine.

What first attracted my eyes was your dark haired ponytail, swishing playfully from side to side with each step. Your Lycra leggings, with splashes of bright colour down each leg to mid-calf, garish red runners, ankle sox, thin waist and narrow hips suggested you were probably on the younger side of the 20-50 age group for whom this is the uniform.
I’ve tried to understand what attracts my attention when walking. I think it’s just movement first, whether straight ahead or on the side, but the brain is quick to determine whether what the eyes see is worth a second look. You were.
I was walking fast, so we approached quickly. I tried not to stare, but your athletic body and swinging ponytail would be a small highlight of my day…so I wanted to watch for the brief time you were in view.
Now I could see your eyes, staring straight ahead, as I was. We were both well aware of the other’s interest, but treating it as ho hum. As we closed, I nodded and said ‘Hi’, as I do to most people I pass. I wanted to say how well you ran, how good you looked, how pleased I was that you were out enjoying yourself, or exercising for health. But I didn’t want to intrude on your private space, so I said nothing else.
I smiled too, recognising your beautiful form. I turned my eyes to catch your face at the last moment. Your eyes caught mine for an instant as we passed, confirming some mutual spontaneous interest, but in what, I don’t know.
Then you were gone. I heard your confident footsteps retreating from earshot, a good runner running well. I wanted to turn around and watch you go, but I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. Others might notice and wonder, though you would have been unaware.
I walked on, feeling energised, smiling inside. There will be another you further down the trail, or tomorrow, or the next day. Thanks Shari*, for brightening my day. Hope you had a good day too. Funny how such small incidents can bring so much joy.
*real name unknown


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