In my opinion, the most memorable moments are the little ones. Don’t get me wrong, those life changing, life altering events are huge. Everything changes drastically because of them but in order for us to be able to come to a decision in those life changing events, we have to have those little encounters that change our mind. They slowly overtime, make us more willing to adapt and change when we should.
In December my sister and I went to Rye, England. It’s a delightfully charming place that I would love to go back to. The cobblestone streets and cottages date back hundreds of years taking me on journey back in time. The gloomy weather cast an old medieval appearance to the sleepy village. As I step out of the cold, brisk air, I remember instantly being warmed by the crackling fire. The old, wooden floors creek loudly in complaint of their age while the smell of old books and mulled wine filled my nostrils with their pleasant aroma.
I drank a lot of tea and met a lot of very nice people. One man in particular stood out to me. He was an older, very pleasant individual, with a strong accent and a welcoming personality. He owned a little toy store where he hand painted, and even hand sculpted some of the soldiers there.
We ended up in his storefront by accident as we had walked past it to begin with. The glimmering Christmas lights in the window with the toy soldiers standing proudly on display pulled me back to wander inside. The man excitedly greeted us into his quaint shop as we peered into the window cases at all of the figures this man had created. We made conversation and he started to tell us some of his backstory. Somehow we got on the topic of when he met his wife. I’m not sure how that came about but I’m so glad it did.
The two met at a pub, he shared. He saw stars when she walked by and was immediately enchanted by her. He recalled her appearing to float through the doorway towards him and he suddenly forgot that anybody else was present in the room. He knew instantaneously that was going to be his wife, literally love at first site. After knowing each other for only three days, he asked her to marry him. She laughed. Three weeks later, he asked again. She laughed but this time not as much. Three months later, he asked yet again and… she said yes! He told us she’s still to this day his best friend and his admiration for her has only grown stronger each day. The way he spoke so fondly of his wife to two complete strangers was beautiful. I believe in love but I am sometimes cynical when it comes to it. This man’s story of love that has endured so strongly over the years reminded me that it is possible to find something so genuine and powerful. My sister and I left that shop holding back tears at this love story told so openly to us with such strong emotions. In modern times, we date differently, using apps as a way to try to meet our person. Although it is sometimes effective, I personally don’t want to use a screen to get to know someone anymore. There’s usually some form of miscommunication and what I crave is a genuine connection.
This small interaction helped remind us that true love still exists. Who would’ve thought we gained such a valuable lesson from a toy soldier shop in Rye.