Towards the end of lap one around the park, I watched the elderly couple get out of their car, carrying a plastic bag and holding hands. They placed the bag on the picnic table and began to pick up the fallen limbs from the weekend’s winds. I quickened my pace as I passed them, to see what unfolded next somehow gave strength to my body which did not want to walk. On lap two I saw a plastic jar of what looked like granola or cereal on the table and watched them as they sat with the birds, the grass and sun eating their breakfast. I giggled to myself, even their chewing was in sync. Seeing me, they nodded their heads and smiled, a gift I quickly returned. Lap three found them sitting, hands folded in their laps, their heads barely turning to see all about them, their bowls, spoons and arms quiet like the morning. Lap four left me breathless. I could see her standing before a plastic pan and jug of water on the table. She was washing their dishes beneath the trees.
And when their last season has passed, will anyone recall and honor the way they sat together and ate their breakfast? Will anyone remember the sun and wind dancing in their gray hair and upon their weathered faces? Will anyone stand breathless, save for the sound of a sweet tear falling upon their face, and remember how she gently washed their morning dishes beneath the trees…as he quietly watched her….with a smile?