Meeting an old friend by chance after evening Mass last night, I was reminded of how much joy can be engendered by ordinary human happenings. She mentioned that her daughter was expecting her first baby in a few months time (meaning too that she will be a grandma). The happiness caused by this news was obvious with grandma-to-be radiating her pleasure, profound and infectious as I was really made happy for her.
We were then joined in this post-Mass streetside conversation by two other old friends who added to the feeling of celebration by announcing that their daughter had just told them of her engagement to be married.
The beneficial effects of living in the same town for many years especially one where there is still an active parish life, include the growing familiarity with and recognition of and by other people and their faimilies also living round and about and chance meetings greetings and gossip.
These add to the warmth and feeling of purpose about life, even in suburban SW19 and SW20.