I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here …every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.
The old woman has become entangled in my daily park routine. On the days I do not come to the park, I know that she is here feeding the birds, her birds, from what appears to be an ancient, wrinkled, brown paper bag.
I have never spoken nor interrupted her. She looks approachable enough, yet something always stops me. I am an outsider. If I were to intrude into her circle, I fear I would scatter her flocked and furry friends. I refuse to cut in on the lively dance I see before me.
Some days I dread entering the park for fear of seeing an empty bench and the old woman no longer there.
But for today, she is, and my heart is happy.
I gain solace from nature. Every day begins with meditation on the porch. Birds flutter about, deer graze in the lower pasture, alpacas wander in the upper pastures, Cairn Terrier, Kayley, sits at my side. The changing of the leaves, the wind through the fields, a great Blue Heron just landed. I am whole again.
Follow along for more writing inspiration, quirky writing prompts and ideas to get your writing-butt-in-gear.