Patterns are everywhere.
There’s something to be said about knowing the people you love. Of course, you know what they look like. You know their expressions, their gestures, and their body language. What amazes me is how we internalize intricate patterns which we use to recognize people we know from very far away. Far enough away that although you can’t see a face or the details of their clothing, you can still pick them out of a crowd. I have done this numerous times. We all have.
At the airport I watch throngs of people trudge from the arrival gate to the descending escalator that will take them to baggage claim. People are clumped in arbitrary groups. Yet, I still recognize the one I’ve come to collect. I see his gait. It’s him. No question.
Waiting for my daughter at the finish line of one of her races, I scan the pockets of runners finishing. Runners come to the finish in clumps, making it hard to pick out individuals. Yet, without fail, I always spot my daughter. Again, my pattern recognition hones in and lets me identify my target.
Yards and yards down the beach, I watch my husband finishing up his run. From way far I away I see him. I know it’s him.
Gait recognition. Gate Recognition. Pattern Recognition.