Here I am, returned safe and sound from my southerly sojourn. Lighter of pocket, and heavier of suitcase with blistered feet and a relaxed mind I wound my way back into town on Monday afternoon.
I did a great lot of walking, and thinking and drinking and talking whilst I was in Melbourne. I present to you some thoughts recorded while sipping chamomile tea one afternoon, and some photos from my week away.
It is no great secret that one of my favourite pass times is people watching. Whether I am travelling, or just a home town tourist, even on my commute to and from work, I love to observe my fellow humans.
How can we, all essentially the same, be such an endless source of entertainment and wonder?
Perhaps that is what people-watchers like myself are trying to figure out.
I find amusement in the details of people, the intimate and telling parts of ourselves that we put on display to the world everyday; the chic minimalist woman who wears her grandmother's earrings because they remind her of a beloved now passed, the tough businessman with his 'I Heart My Labradoodle' keyring, the rebellious neon haired teenager who still wears her confirmation crucifix. These are the almost imperceptible details of people that provide me with hours of entertainment and endless leads and lifetimes in my mind.
When that which can be seen starts to bore, I turn to that which cannot be viewed.
What are the secrets of those around me? Who are they? Where have they travelled from to be in the same place as me today?
The three women across from me at the cafe today are a perfect example. An eclectic group for sure; one woman in a council worker's safety fluorescent shirt, another who would be right at home as a humanities lecturer at the local university, and another who appears to work in hospitality if anything can be guessed from her monochromatic black garb and serviceable and steady sneakers.
Three very different occupations, three women who do not appear related, and yet here they are sharing coffee, laughter and conversation. Where did their lives become entangled? What spark inside each individual lit a fire of companionship in the other so that they came to be sitting around a small, round, concrete table on a sunny afternoon in Melbourne.
Then, how did it transpire that the wires of each of their lives led them here at the exact moment I sat down to my own cup of tea and pistachio macaron?
These are their stories to keep and mine to keep wondering about.
Isn't it amazing though, that all those stories intersected for an hour one February day.
They leave, together, and I stay, alone, and wait for the next unknown story to pass before my eyes.