Tennis! I’m talking tennis at the French Open here guys so get your mind out of the gutter (or the erotic novel you are reading.) It amazes me how loud tennis players are now days while at the same time the judges still ask
viewers to be silent… as if the players could even hear the clapping over their own loud cries.
Two years ago I was fortunate enough to be at Roland Garros, the stadium for the French Open. Of course our first attempt was rained out; a devastating event when you have travelled all the way from the U.S. to attend. (To be fair, the Parisian cafes may have factored into our destination decision a bit as well.)
Ironically enough, while sitting outside one of the stadiums waiting to see if the rain delay would ever end, my husband and I had the great fortune to make a wonderful new French friend. A woman who was such a fan she went to almost all of the tennis matches around the world. It turned out to a be a highlight of our trip, sitting there on that wall, watching torrents of rain fall, and learning all about each other.
Sometimes, especially now as the school year is ending, it feels like the whole world speeds up; so that there is never time to simply chat with a friend or stranger. It is only when life throws me a curve ball; stuck in line at a store, waiting for an overdue appointment, or during a rain delay, that I am forced to take a breath and be present to the space and people around me.
Sometimes that looks like attention to detail (maybe an overhear or two:>). But sometimes it leads to conversation…. And from there, to friendship. I think this is one reason I love to travel on my own. Stuck in an airport with no company but myself, fellow travelers frequently reach out and begin to talk.
I am sure my husband would say his favorite part of that trip to Paris would be when we returned to Roland Garros a couple of days later and got to see some phenomenal tennis; grunts and all. For me, though, the highlight will always be that remarkable afternoon spent talking with a new friend.