As twilight faded and the day’s last light struggled through the shade trees, a reflected spiderweb of branches connecting the pond’s water lilies pads began to slowly dissolve.
The pads seemed on the water like stepping stones leading to the far shore.
Sitting on the porch of their dream home where they had raised a family, an elderly couple watched this timeless and languid transformation from light to dark.
As parents and now grandparents, they fondly and quietly reminisced about their toddlers’ rites of passage of tentatively placing one chubby foot after another as they explored their newfound mode of transportation.
Thirteen steps – like the lily pads stretching across the still body of water – from coffee table to the couch, a new record!
It seemed like yesterday that their first grandchild – then in the first grade – had scored the first run ever on his brand new baseball team. Soon he would be learning how to drive a car.
As one approaches the far end of life’s continuum, Billy Collins’ poem “The Chairs That No One Sits In” comes to mind.
… on porches and lawns
down by the lakeside
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple
who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
Like the water lily pads on the pond, the couple’s recollections skipped across the years. At times they quietly chuckled; at other times they wiped tears from their eyes.
On remembering a hard experience – as if lingering long on a lily pad before taking another step in recollection – they would reach out and hold hands to connect across the intervening space.
As their fingers intertwined, calm and peace came and they sat silently in the twilight of another day in life.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.