Hey there music fans.
I was offline for the last couple of days thanks to my ISP having a hiccup (hiccough!) in their abilities! Still, in great and usual form I took the opportunity to enjoy life – hey, it’s what it’s here for.
As I thoroughly enjoyed my day out in the glorious sunshine, watching the waves break at the shoreline was refreshing an energizing.
Letting mother nature do it’s thing with you is a great day.
On the way back an old-timer decided to strike up a conversation with me – yes, it was started by the spaghetti t-shirt I was wearing! This man must have been in his 80’s but had that indefinable sparkle in his eyes that said he was still alive. He told me about how he and his wife met at the beach and how they would walk – or ‘promenade’ as he called it along the shoreline. Then he said how they had invented being a teenager and the joys of Rock ‘n’ Roll. He spoke to me of many of his wisdoms and let me know that he would tell his good lady everyday how beautiful she was and how in love with her he was.
I could see him delighting in telling me about this special lady and how uplifting his conversation was, she inspired him to life a better life. He showed me pictures of his five children and named them all, telling of how one was a doctor, another taught at university, another was a scientist, the fourth was a dancer and the fifth was a farmer.
Then I asked the question that caused him to be silent for a moment ‘Where is your wife now?‘. He paused and I could see tears forming in his eyes. His voice crackled a little with a moment to recover he said “I’m just going to see her now”
“If you’d like, you can come too.”
I hesitated, as I did not know this man, nor where his wife was. In that brief moment of thought you get I just decided two things:
- This was a genuine man, who was giving of his time and sharing the story of his youth
- I was curious to meet the lady that inspired such devotion and ask her secret
We walked a little along the beach towards a wooden building behind a hill at the far end. Apparently this was his house. It was very modest, but had an unparalleled view of the water. As we went round to the side gate he asked me if I would take any tea, to which I couldn’t really refuse.
He quietly lifted a pair of cutters from under the sink and beckoned me into the garden. There was the most amazing display of colorful flowers with gorgeous scents mixing into unique chords as you breathed in. He asked for my help in choosing some flowers, so I chose some deep red – crimson – roses. He took some grasses and made a little arrangement and divided it in two. He then made his way down the long garden and and let me know his wife had taught ‘all that she knew about flowers’.
As we came to what appeared to be the end, a little path appeared and your eye was led into the lawn area with ornate benches in cast iron. This was a lovely place I thought, but I still couldn’t see anyone else.
The old man walked over to a fountain of the most amazing blues, with a sound of gently flowing water trickling over polished stones. He paused for a moment and smiled as he picked up a dried bunch of flowers and replaced them with the ones I had chosen. He waved his had for me to come over and pointed at a black and white photograph of the young couple playing at the beach we just walked along.
“Here’s my Elizabeth. She loved this garden and would always be sitting here with afternoon tea waiting. It was here favorite spot.”
It was my turn to be speechless.
He saw I was taken aback, but continued “We would have been celebrating our 60th Anniversary on the 25th May. My children are coming back for that, they miss her too. She always made something special for everyone else when they came. She loved meeting new people – she would definitely have enjoyed meeting you.”
He handed me the other half of the flowers I helped choose and gave the most invigorating and peaceful smile
As he got the tea from the house I asked him some more questions about them and how they came to be together so long.
“I always treasured every single moment together – even the horrible ones. We used to laugh about things and could see the funny side in making our own mistakes. We often did things together, but we also had our separate times – I loved mechanics and she loved to sew, which helped us remember who we are as individuals, not just as a couple. Elizabeth had a saying for when things seemed the most dire, she would say ‘Life’s too short – enjoy the sunshine and the rain!‘”
This really struck a chord in me. I promised myself to live a fuller life after that meeting.
You never know what life will bring you, or when it will take things aways, so as my new friends wife would say:
Life’s too short – enjoy the sunshine and the rain!