Sixty seconds. That is how long the encounter took.
Duckett’s Common, park and sports area, mid-evening.
A young person we know approaches.
We get ready to say hi to them as they pass, but at that exact moment, someone else walking their dog passed us and responds to us instead. We both stop and turn towards him.
He asked about our Courtyard badges and after introducing ourselves as youth workers, he pointed out that he recalled seeing two volunteers wearing the same badges. He recognised Courtyard! Before parting, he encouraged us to keep up the good work. We continued our journey, reflecting on the encounter.
It may be quiet at times, but just like the streetlights installed at intervals along the pavement, occasionally enlightening experiences do happen.
In this case it was the jubilation of receiving recognition of our youth work.
By trudging on together, we hold on to an unwavering belief - that we will eventually bask in the warmth of the yellow glow of a streetlamp amidst the cold.
But how do we reach this warmth? The only factor that dictates when we arrive at the next streetlamp, is whether we choose to take the path that leads towards it.
Nick, Courtyard volunteer