A few months ago I noticed her, but did not really see her yet. There was a girl, looking about 15 years old, sitting on a bench in a playground I often pass on my way to the subway station. She seemed to find everything amusing and smiled at me. I smiled back. She was looking at the children playing around her. She looked content, and I figured she was enjoying the weather.
A few weeks ago I saw her again. She was sitting on that same bench, I again was passing her on my way to transportation. She was rocking, forward, back, forward, back, forward, back. Hands on the bench, clinching, her upper body making the same movement over and over again. Forward, back.
I immediately recognised this movement as the movements some people who are on the Autism Spectrum make. Flapping, rocking, repetition, some people on some points on 'the spectrum' do one or the other and it seems to keep them calm and peaceful - like a baby calms when you rock its little body in your arms or a cradle.
She smiled at me, saying 'HI!', like we already had known each other for years. I said 'HI!' back and continued my day.
Yesterday, on my way again, I already saw her from a distance. This time not on the bench at the playground where she had been the past few weeks, but this time on a white plastic chair in front of her house. I walked passed her, she looked at me and said 'HI!', and I greeted back.
One and a half hours later I returned on my way home. The girl was still sitting on her chair in front of her house, making the same movements she was making when I passed her the fist time that day.
A woman and a little boy walked passed the girl. The girl said 'HI!', but barely got a 'hi' in return.
"She'll make them greet her soon", I thought, convinced her spirit is able to reach others.
I walked on, and got my 'HI!' as I expected. I smiled broadly and gave her a 'HI!' back.
The girl is now officially one of the most consistent people I have in my life. She makes me smile. And I wonder how many people this rocking (in more ways than one) girl touches every day with her broad smile and loving greetings.