Once upon a time, in 2016, I was exploring the Tama River Trail via bicycle.
The Tama River Trail is a 30 mile stretch of asphalt path. It connects a good chunk of “Outer-rim” Tokyo with the rest of Japan. It also has numerous paths to the river and neighborhood parks connected throughout.
Ostensibly, it’s a major pedestrian highway.
It was phenomal bike riding weather that day. Cloudless sky, warm enough to make you sweat but not hot to the point of regret, it was the kind of day that made you feel like you could ride forever.
The photo below was taken on the way back home. I had learned about 60 minutes prior to taking it, that the trail was 30 miles long. I responded to that new knowledge by promptly giving that shit the finger and heading home.
In the photo, on the left and in between the two pedestrian signs, is a black oval.
That is a little old woman. I saw her on the way out. I smiled at her, and she smiled back. And at the time, I thought that that was the end of it.
After I took the photo, I saw that she was still there. As I rolled by, without an ounce of thought, I turned towards her, smiled again, and waved.
She returned the salutation, happy (in my mind) that someone saw her and acknowledge her.