So I looked up the actual definition of this word because I wasn't sure how to define it myself. Does being spiritual mean you are religious? Does it mean you don't believe in scientific facts? I don't think either of those is true but I am still having trouble finding the words. Here is something I found interesting on Wikipedia's page for spirituality: Modern spirituality is centered on the "deepest values and meanings by which people live." It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.
The reason this topic was on my mind lately is that I keep thinking about a woman I met on the bus a month ago. Or rather something she said. But let's back up a little bit.
About once a month or so I go back to visit my hometown in Brooklyn so I can spend time with my family and friends. I usually take a bus. I remember casually asking the woman in front of me if she knew what my parking receipt had the wrong date on it. And somehow we got into a conversation that lasted the whole bus ride. She told me all about her travels to Italy and her family. I told her all about my travels to Bangladesh and the quiet life I have made for myself since I started living on my own. We seemed to have some things in common: our love for food and growing up in neighborhoods that were right next to each other. Of course, this woman is 76 years old so our hometown was much different for each of us growing up.
Even though we had a couple of similarities she told me that I reminded her so much of her deceased aunt that it was uncanny. Her aunt passed away fairly recently, lived to the age of 95. She told me that her aunt was the most independent woman she ever knew; not just because she never got married or had kids but because of the way she carried herself throughout her entire life.
A couple of weekends ago I went over to her house for dinner. I met her husband and we all had a lovely time. When I was walking through the door she gave me a hug and gave me the look that a person gives when they have really missed someone. I think that look on her face was for her aunt. I can tell from the way she talks about her how much she loves her. She told me that she felt a connection to me that was hard to explain. During dinner, she mentioned that she thinks maybe her aunt send me to her. I wasn't sure how to respond because I am not sure what my beliefs are on the afterlife. So I just smiled a warm smile and continued eating. I don't think she expected any particular response from me but I still felt strange.
I never had anyone close to me pass away so it was hard for me to relate to her situation. Was it really just coincidence that she met a young woman that was similar to someone who has just passed away her in life? What were the chances that we both ended up on that same bus that day? I realize that the possibilities of scenarios that could have happened the day we met are endless. And by that logic perhaps it was just a coincidence.
But if spirituality is a real thing, embracing the idea of an immaterial reality, then perhaps it was her aunt that set everything in motion that day. Right when we started having a personal conversation I could see how happy and lively she was. But when she first mentioned her aunt I felt the slight hint of sadness she was expressing. And as I spent more time with her that hint got smaller and smaller.
The more I think about this situation the more I realize that it doesn't matter if her aunt really sent me to her or not. I made someone happy just by being myself and taking the chance to get to know them. That was a really nice feeling for me. It wasn't my initial intention that day but somehow this one person in this universe was able to get rid a small fraction of her sadness just by getting to know me. Life might all just be coincidence after coincidence and fate might not exist at all. Who knows? What I know for sure is that you never know when someone will come into your life and change it even if it's just a little bit. And if it's a positive change, well that is a very beautiful thing.