Pensive: (adjective) engaged in, involving, or reflecting deep or serious thought: a pensive mood.
I saw him in the park, sitting by himself as the day dawned and the activity within the park started to warm up.
At first, I didn’t pay him much attention, often people would sit in the park in the early morning taking in the freshness of the morning.
But this man was there each morning over the course of the week. He sat staring straight ahead his mind focused on some arbitrary point in the distance, but within him, I sensed a purpose and a deep trouble.
It got so I had to stop and ask him if he was okay.
His initial response was to look at me in a startled manner before pouring out his story.
He had been married twenty years, it wasn’t a happy marriage, and he had come to the point in his life where he was considering whether or not to stay married or to break away.
There were children involved, and he was conflicted over leaving them.
His wife had been an abusive woman, towards him and the children. His eldest had urged him for some years to get out, but he felt an obligation to his younger children to stay and if nothing else protect them.
Now the time had come to make a change. Stepping away and leaving his children was his biggest life decision and it was cutting him up thinking about it.
But the way things were he knew if he didn’t, he would cease to be an effective parent and that would be even more disastrous.
He had somewhere to go, which was not an issue, his aged father lived not far away, and if he moved there, he would be within calling distance for his children.
He sat and recounted incident after incident within his marriage as if trying to justify to himself the decision he was about to make.
A week later I saw him once again in the park. He had left his marriage, and his initial response was to tell me of the weight that had been lifted from his shoulders. He felt a rare form of freedom, and even though his wife had not reacted well and vowed vengeance in the form of financially crippling him, he felt he had made the right decision.
His previous pensive mood, where he considered the gravity of leaving a marriage he considered a life long commitment had been lifted and I was surprised he was so upbeat about his future which I was sure going to be years of struggle trying to rebuild his life and his connection with his children.