She sat on a bench in the park, seemingly oblivious to everything around her. On closer inspection it was obvious she was not, oblivious that is. Her eyes darted too and fro as she examined each individual crossing her path. Her toe was tapping to something or other on the earbuds plugged into her ears.
He’d started coming regularly, at 10:00 am as that’s when he’d first noticed her. He’d been right. Every morning except weekends, she’d arrive a couple minutes before ten and sit on her favourite bench, no matter the weather. The same routine continued for months.
One day she stopped coming. He wondered why feeling somehow bereft. She had become part and parcel for the reason he himself ventured out into overly hot weather or drizzling rains on occasion.
Her gentle spirit, quiet elegance and insistent toe-tapping in sinc, in harmony with her world. It was evident she enjoyed this moment in time as though it was something very special and precious, something she did for herself, and herself alone.
Although quiet, singular, she seemed to receive great enjoyment from harmonizing with whatever she was listening to, while communing with nature, even though a tad separate from those around her.
A thousand questions flitted through his mind. First and foremost, why hadn’t he approached her, spoken with her, conversed. He’d delighted in watching her from afar, and hadn’t wanted to break into the emotional peace she derived from her morning sojourn.
For once, perhaps the only time in his life, his consideration for another overtook his own selfish needs. Now more than ever he felt bereft of her presence. He found this completely astonishing as he knew nothing about her, and yet, her presence seemed to give, offer, include. How was that humanly possible he wondered, when not a single word had been spoken? He couldn’t help being curious. He wondered whether she’d even been aware of his presence, or how much he’d have enjoyed sharing a few words with her.
As his musing continued, someone sat down on the other end of the bench. Thinking their presence intrusive, he looked over, and sitting on the other end of the bench, was the woman in question.
The wonder of his thoughts must have reached her for she held out her hand to introduce herself. He waited a fraction of a second, shocked and delighted. Taking her hand in his, he introduced himself. She smiled warmly returning the favour then plugged her earbuds back into her ears, crossed her legs and the toe-tapping began.