Cool autumn breeze shakes leaves from the trees, squirrels run to and fro looking for something to put away for the coming winter. A small wooden bench, badly in need of a touch up on the green paint sits in the middle of a clearing, walking path in front and trees filled with yellow, gold, brown and red leaves making that sound, the sound that tells you that summer is long gone and winter is too near.
An old lady sits on that bench alone, with her oversize canvas bag filled with balls of yarn on the ground in front of her. She only needs one color, it is her favorite color. She hopes that she will be able to get the sweater done in time for Christmas, not that it really matters because this year no one is going to be able to come to the house. Too many obligations with their own families, no time to visit….maybe next year. Sure is getting cold early this year, but not too cold to force her to stay in that big house all by herself, not just yet. Too many memories, and knowing that they will not be adding any this year hurts, it really hurts.
A couple stroll down the walking path, hand in hand, not talking. Just out for their daily walk together because….well, because that is just what they do. Even when there is nothing to say, they can still get out and walk together, hold hands, enjoy the scenery, the trees, the animals. Not too many people on the path any more, making time for walks just doesn’t seem that important to others, but they do it every day, just to get away from life for a few minutes and breathe some fresh air.
There is that lady sitting on the bench again, is that going to be me in twenty years? God I hope not, every day she is there just sitting and knitting or reading or just sitting and looking around. So depressing. I have so many things to do today, I hope that we take the short way so I can get on with what I need to get done. But it sure is pretty out here with the changing leaves and the breeze blowing them every which way, kind of mesmerizing if you stop and just look…….come on, I don’t have all day. Company is coming over and I have to get ready, Lord knows if I don’t do it, then no one will!
As the couple walks by the bench, the man just stares at the bag of yarn, and at the red sweater that is developing from her consistently moving needles. He cannot stop looking, as tears start to well up in his eyes for reasons beyond him he tries to look away.
What is different? I see her every day as we pass by, sometimes we wave, at least when we know that she sees us. But we have never stopped to say hi. Why do people always look at someone that they don’t know, especially older people and say “she seems like such a nice lady”. How would they know? Looks can be deceiving, I would know. What if no one ever stops and talks to her, who does she have? Does she live around here? She is knitting a small sweater which means she has to have family, right? But still, what if she is alone? What if I stop and say hi, would that mean anything to her? Would it mean anything to me? Why am I feeling like this? I am sure she’ll be fine, everybody has somebody, right! Well, maybe tomorrow I’ll stop, seems that we are in a bit of a hurry today.