Out the window, I could see the old couple heading off. Hand in hand, the man, holding an umbrella over his lady friend as the rain was beginning to fall.
They made steady progress, as it was clear the man was not as fit as he might have been. But their demeanour suggested they were not in any hurry, rather they were enjoying being together.
As they walked on I couldn’t help but notice the old man begin to slow down, he leaned more on his friend, his step shortened, his body bent over as they made their way down the wet, deserted street.
They stopped beside the park, and I could see them commenting on the vegetation, the trees were out in their autumn splendour, and they like everyone else marvelled at the colours on display, the bright yellows and reds of the introduced deciduous trees along side the hardy native evergreens.
I got to thinking about old age. What would it be like for me when I reached the age where getting around was not as easy as it was now?
I didn’t like the thought of using a walking stick, a walking frame, needing help with the basic things in life.
The old couple I observed didn’t seem to see any of that as a burden; it was how life was for them.
Under a tree in the park, they stopped, and the woman spread out a plastic sheet on a damp seat, and they sat there, umbrella overhead and hold hands, taking in the scene before them.
The old man was smiling, his lady friend giggling before he reached across and gave her a kiss. For a second they took in each other’s eyes, and I saw then what made them tick. She then reached in and returned his kiss, and leant against his shoulder as if still love-struck teenagers.
Old age doesn’t afford a lot of time, that’s the cruel reality, but it does allow us the time to cement and treasure the relationships we do have.
The couple in question had clearly connected with each other, their joy at being together apparent to anyone who looked upon them.
As night was beginning to spread its dark shadow over the park, I watched as they gathered themselves, and joining hands turned towards the RSL Club where the Tuesday night $10.00 chicken schnitzel awaited them.