I was alone in the park near sunrise this morning playing my usual round of disc golf. On the 17th hole, I happened upon a great blue heron standing among the trees near the hole. Since nobody was playing behind me, I opted to watch this majestic bird for a few minutes. Eventually my mind started to wander, thoughts of work and other projects intruded. I remember thinking I should start carrying my camera. It is not very often that a four foot tall bird presents itself for pictures.
Did I mention my mind wandered? Because it did. I became aware of my surroundings again when an old lady touched my arm. She asked me, "Son, are you alright?". I hid my embarrassment by smiling. I told her I was fine. She gave me a long hard look. I could see she was skeptical. To her, I was just a big sweaty man staring at a tree.
Stone Temple Pilots was playing Wicked Garden.I pulled out an earbud to talk to the old woman. She was walking her corgies. She told me she walked the dogs with her husband every morning. A tear rolled down her cheek. It was my turn to ask. "are you ok?". She told me her husband had passed two months ago. She was lonely.
Can you see just like a child?
Can you see just what I want?
Can I bring you back to life?
Are you scared of life?
I learned a little about her life, about her children and grandchildren, and about her dogs. She called them corgies, although they looked more like fuglies. She cried when she talked about her husband. Apparently, they walked the dogs on Sundays before church. She had not been able to attend since he passed. It hurt to much.
I'm a good listener. I think that is why I attract so many interesting people. The truth is, I like people. Even this lonely old lady. I felt compelled to listen, so I did.
The old lady eventually asked me to pray with her. The Atheist in me wanted to say no, the human being in me said something entirely different. "Sorry Ma'am, I am not a Christian, but I would be happy to keep you company while you pray." She bowed her head. 30 seconds of silence passed between us. She eventually looked up. I could tell she was more at ease. She asked if she could walk the rest of the course. I was on the 17th hole, I figured what the hell.