We’ve always credited Edward with the original Thought, though last weekend in Japan, he denied all claims to it. Regardless of who was the first one of us to think it and to express it out loud, at some point during one of our trips, one or other of us will undoubtedly come up with it.
We think that the first time it was expressed, was on a Star Ferry in Hong Kong, sometime in the early 1990s (when the above photo was taken).
What is The Thought, then?
It’s the momentary realisation that, wherever we are in the world, whatever is happening goes on day in day out, regardless of our presence.
Well, of course it does. But somehow, sitting on a small green and white ferry all those miles away from home, it becomes quite a significant moment.
Think of it this way. Right now, at this moment, at Zurich Hauptbahnhof, a train will just be leaving, right on time and with a complement of passengers going about their business like any other late winter Sunday.
At the same time, people will be riding their motorbikes along the busy road in Hanoi, unaware that someone thousands of miles away is thinking of them right now.
And that’s the power of The Thought. At all times of day and night, someone, somewhere is riding a subway, following the routine of their daily lives.
Of course, we don’t have to be thousands of miles away from home to think it.
This morning, in the shower, I had The Thought. It began with thinking that it’s Sunday and the youngsters will be gathering in Harajuku, getting dressed up and posing for their photographs.
But it soon moved on to thinking about those people in Christchurch, just going to bed after another heartbreaking day, trying to get their lives back together after the dreadful events of last week. I looked out my photo album from our visit to Christchurch in 1991 because we’ve been trying to remember the name of the hotel in which we stayed – Noahs . I read the story of the day we spent driving out to Lyttleton and Scarborough and recalled what a beautiful part of the world it is.
And then, of course, I thought about last February and our fantastic trip to Libya. Throughout the last week, we’ve thought about Mohammed, our charming guide, wondering how he and his family are faring. I thought about the delightful people we met, the warm welcomes and the kindnesses shown to us and hope all will be well.
So that’s The Thought. A powerful reminder of what a small and insignificant role we each play in the Grand Scheme of Things and yet, who knows? Someone, somewhere could well be thinking of you at this very minute. Not only that, but whatever today might bring, we are not alone.
Far from it.