I don’t meet strangers anymore…I only meet old friends.      –Jennifer Pastiloff

What has surprised me most during this month of gratitude is the things that stand out in my mind at the end of the day are usually not things at all.

They are the moments of connection.

As I rode the bus home this afternoon following a SoulCycle workout on a summer day off, I grew antsy from the heavy traffic on the avenue.  I picked up my phone, about to tweet an obnoxious observation about traffic and traffic cops (ok, so I’m not always in a graceful frame of mind), when the woman across from me asked, “Where did you get that?”

She pointed to the paper bag that carried my lunch.  It was from Juice Generation, one of many juicing places in Manhattan.  I usually visit the store around the corner from my class for a post-cycle lunch.  (They make a pretty spectacular vegan taco salad.)  She wanted to know where the store was located, so I told her.

“Oh. My son owns a juice place near there on 62nd and 3rd.”

We—she was also with her husband—proceeded to have the loveliest conversation about their son’s business, which turns out to be a growing chain of 13 stores called The Juice Press.  I’ve walked by it, as well as a newer one downtown, many times and have always thought that I should try it.

Now I can’t wait to stop in; I’m certain the products will be infused with love.

Time spent aggravated in a traffic jam was transformed by easy conversation about juice fasts, eating cleanly, and being crazy enough to take a risk on what you believe in.  Some conversations are effortless and make you feel embraced by the world.

I feel at home in the world.  

This was one of those exchanges.

And it turns out that they live in my neighborhood.  Who knows, maybe I’ll see them again, this time as familiar friends.

Connection, the essence of grace.