Quest Story: Skipping in Time by Rufus Collinson


I live on a busy city street corner in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Every evening, I like to sit on my stoop and watch the stream of humanity pass by – pedestrians, drivers and passengers. One cold night, I was nestled into my usual perch, watching and dreaming.

Across the street, a teenaged boy suddenly grabbed the hand of his giggling girlfriend and began skipping down the sidewalk. They were in perfect skipping synchronization.

Within two minutes, I felt as though I was watching a scene from a movie, probably a foreign film. A mother and daughter behind the skipping couple reached for one another’s hands and began skipping too. Two small boys on my side of the street, giggled and imitated the skippers across the way. Soon enough, every configuration of twos imaginable were holding hands and skipping toward the boulevard around the corner. A few feet from me, an elderly man skipped in place as his wife lifted her walker up and down in time with the rhythm of the crowd.

I leapt up from the stoop and joined the throng, amazed by the transformative power of one exuberant action. We skipped together until we reached the boulevard above the harbor. There was a tiny moment of silence and then, each by each, we took one another into our arms and hugged. I walked home slowly, immersed in the blessing. I still am.

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