A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry.
From the vantage point of the old woman:
As soon as I finish my breakfast, I gather the equipment I need for my current knitting project and head for the park. As I walk, the sun is shining and its warmth feels like a much beloved cloak against my skin. Once I reach the park, I sit down on a bench that gives me a panoramic view of the park.
I pull my knitting needles, my red yarn, and the parts of the sweater I have already completed from my bag. The sweater is for my great-grandson and I plan to have it finished in time for his five-year-old birthday party next week. Before I begin working on the sweater, I take some time to watch the children playing in the playground. A young boy notices me looking at him and walks up to me, his mother keeping an eye in the distance. “What are you doing lady?” “I’m making a sweater for my great-grandson,” I respond. “I have a red sweater too! It’s my favorite. Bye….” he says as he runs back to the playground. I begin knitting and soon am immersed in the pleasure of the clicking needles, the feel of the yarn and most important, the magic that occurs when a piece of straight yarn turns into a soon-to-be treasured sweater.
After some time, my attention is pulled to a middle-aged man and woman walking on a nearby path holding hands. They are quiet, with serene looks on their faces. They walk slowly, standing side by side, connected by their hands, but also separate. Separate in a good way. They seem to be savoring every moment of their walk. As they walk close to me, I notice there are gentle tears running down the left cheek of the man. Tears of joy? Tears of remembrance? Tears of gratitude? I don’t know, but as they pass, I return to what brings joy, memories and gratitude to ME; and that is spending my day knitting items for those I love, while I watch and talk with people in the park.
From the vantage point of the middle-aged woman:
I wake up in the morning, feeling the closeness of my husband beside me. He returned last night from India. He has spent the last two months meditating and singing, immersed in his spiritual journey. I missed him, of course, but am so glad that he takes that time for himself each year.
We decide we will go to the park after breakfast. The sun is shining and warm. I breathe deeply and feel my breath coursing through my body. As we walk towards the park, I notice a playground in the distance. I can hear the laughter of the children even from this far away. I also see a woman on a park bench; she looks like she may be knitting.
I am conscious of every step I am taking. My husband reaches out and grasps my hand. I feel the comfort of the immediate familiarity. I treasure this time with him. I feel myself going inside. My whole world in this moment is the experience of standing shoulder to shoulder with my husband, the sensations of his hand against mine and the love I feel for him. This is our moment. I will live it fully.
From the vantage point of the middle-aged man:
When I wake up, I am coming out of a dream, a dream filled with the peace and joy of having recently been in India. While I love my life there, I am also content to have come home after my two month sojourn. I return with such an appreciation for what I have here. Top of the list is my wife. I appreciate her love; I appreciate her presence in my life. I appreciate that we, as a couple, support each other in making our personal dreams a reality. I feel blessed to be walking my life’s journey with her.
After breakfast, we decide to take a walk to the park. Soon we become silent. I love the feel of her standing beside me, our steps matching each other. Sometimes even the timing of our breaths are joined.
I see the children playing in the playground ahead of me, and I think I see an old woman knitting. But as we walk closer, I am too immersed in my own journey to really see her. I am filled with love, gratitude and appreciation for my wife. As I think about her, and about us, I feel the sensation of tears running down my cheek. In that moment, I feel totally alive.
Minutes later, a picture of the old woman on the park bench, floats across my mind’s eye. I turn around briefly and glance at her. She is busy knitting a red sweater. She looks peaceful and happy too. What a glorious morning this is!
Written for Writing 101 Assignment 9