Waiting at an appointment I passed the time reading George Herbert's poems in my pocket Everyman edition - these are beautiful small hardbacks, and this one stays in the car for just such fugitive moments. I prefer Herbert to Hello magazine in waiting rooms.
Later in the supermarket she tracked me down to haberdashery, where I had discovered and was examining the selection of needles, looking for a particular size of tapestry needle. It hadn't ocurred to me to look in Tesco for tapestry needles. It hadn't ocurred to her that she would find her father enthusing about Tesco's needlework hardware.
While doing so I was whistling quietly - a habit that's really annoying if you're not me. The tune I was whistling, as often, was the one I;d just been playing in the car, John Denver's Poems and Prayers and Promises.
Put all three things together and she reckons I was, at that moment, unique in all the world. Who else would be sampling embroidery needles in Tesco, with a well used hardback volume of Metaphysical poetry in his jacket pocket, while whistling the tune to a cheesy country song by a now dead singer songwriter you either love or hate?
Answer, probably no one else. But George Herbert's is the poetry of religiopus genius; tapestry is its own art form; and John Denver was a supreme artist of music that celebrates humanity, our world and many of the things that matter and then some.
To be at one moment on a Thursday afternoon, someone in whom all three coincide is, to be able to smile at those quotidian intersections of circumstance when the contingent and the purposeful unintentionally embody the unique mystery that is any one of us. And a moment to be thankful for, in the words of Herbert:
Thou who has giv'n so much to me,
Give one thing more a grateful heart....
Not thankfull, when it pleases me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be,