Everyday Life, Everyday Beauty

by Lisa on November 3, 2011

I looked up from my book and saw them—

Two men. Two ages. Two lives.

They had exited the store together—side by side.

The younger, middle-aged one, wearing a wool plaid shirt, jeans, and work boots. The older, seventy/eighty-something one, had on tanish-colored polyester pants pulled up to his belly button, a white button up shirt, and a well-worn, mustard cardigan. The younger man pushed a cart filled with a few plastic grocery sacks. Slowly they ambled down the sidewalk into the grocery store crosswalk and back up to the sidewalk in the middle of the parking lot.

They stopped right in front of where I was sitting in the van waiting for hubby-dear to return with milk, cabbage, and limes. I watched silently while my unbuckled kids climbed about inside the van as if it were a jungle gym.

The younger man went to unlock the green 4×4 truck’s doors. By the time he had unlocked the driver’s door and the passenger door, the older man had grabbed a couple of the grocery bags and ever-so-slowly pulled them out of the cart. He handed them to the younger man who quickly and nimbly placed them in the back seat of the truck. Before the older man could reach back into the cart again, the younger man had unloaded the rest of the sacks.

The older man turned, maneuvered the cart back around and started rolling it toward the cart return. He got to the edge of the sidewalk and lost control of the cart. It sped down the pavement decline and into the middle of the parking lot. The younger man ran over, grabbed the cart and said, “I’ve got it, Dad.” The older man turned around with a big smile on his face and started shuffling back toward the truck. The older guy struggled into the truck while the younger one hopped in the drivers seat.

Instead of immediately starting up the car, they sat there. The younger man grabbed a water bottle, took a couple of drinks, put the lid back on and they talked. Each man talking, smiling, laughing. No hurry. Just sitting there enjoying each others company in the parking lot after a grocery outing.

As I watched them drive away, I thought I had just witnessed the Perfect Infinite. Patience. Kindness. Love in action. While there may have been an element of duty and obligation from a son to help a father, there appeared to be just the simple joy of being together, of loving unconditionally, loving without expectation, loving because you can.

Balmy fall weather. Bright, warm sunshine. Autumn leaves of gold, red, and orange billowing down. And two lives, intertwined in everyday life—everyday beauty.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Faye November 4, 2011 at 6:49 am

Simply lovely.

Annie November 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm

This is beautifully written. I love it.

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