Went to the Metro Richmond Zoo yesterday with my daughter and her family. Great zoo, great day. I know of nothing more beautiful than animals, and, as a good Leo, naturally I am partial to cats! And I am partial to zoos that allow their creatures plenty of space. (The fact that this lovely Bengal tiger is sitting next to the fence is not a matter of cramped quarters, but of feline curiosity. He was keeping an eye on the passing tourists.)

One very odd thing happened. As my granddaughter and I were interacting with a giraffe, a woman next to us said something to her children, and I, hearing her, said, “Ireland? Or, England?” and it turned out that they were from northern England, and when I told them I had had a friend in Burslem, which is part of Stoke-on-Trent, the husband knew it as about 70 miles west of where they lived. But that isn’t the curious part. The curious thing, to me, is how just a moment’s conversation with them made me miss England so much!

Why should it be? Why should it be that I have visited no other country more than once, but England seven times? And when we returned home, I began reading my granddaughter The Secret Garden, which is now 106 years old (and I hope it lives forever), and it too is set in Yorkshire. That’s not my favorite part of England, but it’s England all the same, and I (or someone within) often wishes I were living there.

Funny life we lead, with so many unsuspected and unfathomed connections running beneath the surface of things.