On Wednesday I needed to go for a walk at lunch to get out of the office for some fresh air, and I decided to head to my favourite community garden to just sit and contemplate.
After a few minutes this nice old lady walked by and made a comment about how I was game to be sitting in the garden on a cold day like that day was. I made a bit of small talk and that was it.
I noticed that she was preparing to do some gardening so I asked her which plot was her's and how long she had had it for. She has been gardening at that plot for 15 years, originally from the praries, she moved to Vancouver because her sister lived here.
She told me stories of wading through waste deep snow to school, and how their parents property was on a big hill that they would toboggan down in winter. However now, her parents house is right in the middle of downtown, and all that land is no longer free, but instead covered with city blocks.
We discussed gardening in Canada versus Australia, and its differences. She explained the way they plough in the winter so all the snow fills the plough tracks and melts in the spring, soaking the ground and making it the most ideal growing conditions.
Finally she expressed her dismay at the state of the food we eat and how it is so hard for the youth of today to be able to easily make healthy choices. The idea of genetically modified foods scared her. We had an interesting discussion on this, it must be hard for someone like her, now at, I'm guessing, 80 years old, to look back and see the differences in society and the way we consume. From having had the freshest most delicious produce, to now having unknown chemicals and who knows what else applied to our food. Not to mention all the processed food that is pushed at everyone.
It was a very wholesome lunch, and it shows that next time you have the opportunity, start up a conversation with a stranger - you never know how rewarding it will be.