I had an unusual experience the other day when I crossed paths with a stranger. The boy was about eight years old and sat in the back of a pickup truck with his legs hanging off the tailgate. He swung his legs back and forth while he looked down towards the ground. As I walked by on my way to the library, the boy looked up at me. His light blue eyes locked on mine and I thought I looked into his soul. In my mind’s eye I saw the boy grow up and graduate high school, then I saw him older still and holding hands and swinging arms with a pretty girl in a summer dress. Then, I saw this stranger as an old man on a porch, rocking back and forth, back and forth, looking off in the distance intently scanning the horizon. Patiently waiting, watching.

A moment later I saw the young boy again, his gaze shifted back to the ground. His legs swung back and forth.

As I continued walking, the image of the boy and the life I imagined for him played over in my mind.