When on holidays I saw a lady.
She had a lovely head of white hair
and a gentle, wrinkled face.
She strolled like a wise and holy woman
instead of a habit
she wore a canary yellow windbreaker.
She moved with her hands behind back, confident and contemplative.
I sat on my bench, my book in my lap, and watched her as she stopped at each flowerbed
bending to more closely appreciate their colourful arrangements.
Between flowerbeds she would smile and say “hello” to every person she passed, including me,
as I sat on my bench.
As she made her way around the park, she came upon another woman
rummaging though the garbage.
I had seen this woman before, collecting cans up and down the main promenade. Wearing her uniform: a knee-length grey sweater and floppy sunhat.
She smiled at people too
but had no teeth.
The wise woman stopped and talked,
and talked to the woman in grey. Asking her how her day “was going” and if she was “doing alright”. They were still conversing when I left my bench many minutes later.
The next day I saw this same wise woman. She was wearing the same yellow jacket
and walked with her hands behind her back.
But this time
instead of bending to look at the flowerbeds she bent to talk to the homeless man on the street corner. The man who sat at that same corner “painting” a picture with beads and a needle and thread.
The two were having a lively conversation about “colour” and “art” and the loveliness of the day.
I wondered who this wise woman was, viewing her world as a garden not only filled with flowers but with people
considered just as beautiful.
And I learned I need to pay attention. I often go about my day without
I would like to be more like this white-haired woman who moved slowly
and with purpose
and who saw and seemingly blessed
everyone in her path.
I wonder if buying a vibrant yellow windbreaker would help?