Some of you may know of the Mumford & Sons song “Where Are You Now?“. I recently listened to this song, and realized how many people I wonder that about. I don’t always think in the same harsh and cold context of the complete lyrics, but rather in the sense of the raw and curious title.
For example: I wonder about my childhood Alexandria who left my hometown when I was just starting elementary school. She accidentally left her cheetah print headband at my house, and to this day I still have it. I haven’t been in contact with her since then, but sometimes I wonder offhandedly about her.
Though it’s not just Alexandria I find myself wondering about. Oftentimes my mind drifts to the people that I meet when doing service work. They stay with me, on the backroads of my mind, years later.
The polite Egg-Salad Sandwich Man I encountered through Martha’s Table, the heartbreaking man who’s mother I visited in a Tennessee hospital ICU, or the thoughtful Philadelphia waitress who bought me Tastykakes on her own dime. And to think, I don’t even always know their names. How, how, could I have such a desire to know? How could I have such a deeply ingrained experience to remember for that long? We thirst for knowledge. It makes us ambitious. It gets us in trouble. It enlightens us.
Unfortunately, this is part of the human experience: to have a curiosity that cannot always be quenched. But this shouldn’t be something that hinders us. Instead, I encourage you to let it be something that inspires you to go out in the world and discover all you can from all those you meet.
Just because you met someone once doesn’t mean that they’re insignificant. That’s hardly the case. Don’t be afraid to wonder where they are now. And maybe? Let that wondering lead to wandering.