She is a tiny Sri-Lankan woman who lives somewhere in this neighbourhood. She shops at the same 24 hour kiosk I do - we arrived and left at the same time. When she stopped to pick some jasmine flowers it touched me - it is exactly something I would do. She rolled the blossoms in her hand to release the scent and she drank it in. I love doing that. So I made a comment with my hands about how beautiful the smell was. She smiled and agreed.
So we walked together for a block or so, no common language to unite us further. But as we parted ways I put my hand to my chest and said "Sandra". She repeated my name with some delight and pressed her own hand to her chest. "Chanda", she said.
This encounter reminded me we are all more the same than different. Because of Jasmine flowers one beautiful night, I was given the opportunity to really see her. For those minutes, it was like we really knew each other. We were both struck by the beauty of a flower and the amazement of having the same name. We are not so different, of course, when we were made in the same image.