Meet Me in Paris
So, some people would say there are no coincidences. I would have to be one of them. Recently, I was in Europe meeting with my business partner in London and seeing a potential client in Paris. One evening, I stopped to have dinner at a little restaurant.
I was on my own. I had not been to Paris since my partner passed away two years ago, and there were lots of memories. I also had planned to be here with a friend, but unfortunately it had not worked out, and I was sad about that, too.
I love eating and restaurants. I don’t mind having lunch by myself, but in the evening, I prefer being with someone, or if that fails with a book to give myself cover or my iphone to check all those important Facebook updates. I didn’t have a book and my phone was not working. So I was forced to just enjoy the wonderful setting in the shadow of Notre Dame and the fantastic meal that I was served!
I was sitting at a table for one next to the only other table for one. There was a guy who I thought was French – he was eating Steak Tartare – who was about my age at that place. We both ate our meals, and then I don’t know whether he said something or I did, but we began a conversation.
He was American who had lived in England for many years. I am British living in the United States for many years. He had worked in Asia; so had I. He ran a transportation business, well I don’t! But then we talked about more personal things.
His wife had died ten weeks ago after a long illness and he had cared for her all that time. I too had lost my partner after an accident. As we talked, he talked about his philosophy of life. He meditated. He believed in much of Buddhist philosophy. In so many ways, his view of life was mine. Just like me, he saw the death of someone he thought was his soul mate as tragic but also as something to learn from and grow from. It was one of the most interesting, powerful and positive conversations. And all because I forgot my book and coincidentally I sat next to this guy.
But I know it was not an accident. I believe we both needed someone to talk to that evening and someone – not just the waitress – put us next to each other!