Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Love

Two friends and I were walking in the park one evening. We all live in the neighbourhood so it's fun to catch up with them, listen to stories of everyday encounters, who said what, when, where. And more.

Richard's Park has narrow pathways, so it's difficult to walk in threes. Invariably I'm running to keep up with the other two. This, in turn, involves dodging other walkers, overtaking the slow-strollers, and speedily skirting various objects located by the side of the pathways. Anyway, what all this means is that all of us walk pretty fast--which of course is great exercise. Gossip and fast talk, it's an amazing combination!

So I was doing my regular intricate stepping-around dance after my friends, when we came upon a man moving very slowly. He was coming in the opposite direction so I could see that he walked with a hand pressed to his right side. Initially I thought he had hurt himself. Then I realised he had a physical deformity--his leg was slightly twisted out of joint, so he could not walk quickly, or steadily. We passed him making his slow way around the path. A young girl was skipping along, in front of him. His daughter, I realised later

The next time we passed by this man, one of the straps on his sandal had come loose. So he was standing patiently on the path. And the little girl, she cannot be more than eight or nine, was kneeling in front of him, totally focused on doing the strap up again. They were unaware of the others walking by them, around them. They were in their own little world.

Actually I don't know if my friends noticed this little incident. Because we walk really fast, as I said earlier, so everything around us is usually a blur.

But I did see. And the sight left a catch in my throat. And it showed me what true love is.