Sunday, 20 May 2012


Every morning I walk along the seafront, & while doing so, I observe the `people, like me they have their routine. The lycra-clad, Adonis -built men jogging past, slick in early morning sweat & dew. the beautiful sculptured women, dressed in Spanish hue, Scandinavian blue, a multitude of colours, all chatting like multicoloured parrots, going for their guilt ridden, calorie-bashing power walks. Young lovers walking close in sexual whispers, touching, giggling & touching some more. The stooped, long standing loved couples of life-storied wrinkles, & gnarled arthritic hands, walking slowly, shuffling like snails, supporting each other against twisted ankles & replaced hips. dogs of every size, breed colour, on the end of leads, on morning walkies, snuffling in various stages of cuteness & aah factor, yapping, sniffing, peeing, crapping, their owners conveniently blind to errant droppings. couples, friends, families, chatting, smiling huffing & puffing, all with a purpose, & I smile at them all, with good mornings & polite nods, we acknowledge each other as fellow dawn walkers, separate as strangers, but united in our morning. Some days the sun is as golden as lemons, red as blood oranges, pink as candy floss. Other days, the sun is unavailable, leaving us with heaving wind & bruised clouds. The sea is at times a glass mirror with not a sigh to her name, & at other times she is angry & as vocal as a hen-pecked harridan.  Every day on my walks I pass a little old lady, a person that one wouldn’t look at twice. She is small, badly dressed, & has a haircut that looks as though it has been cut with a nail scissors. She only has two brown teeth in her mouth that stick out over her lower lip. On her head she wears an old baseball cap at an angle to stop the uninvited sun shining into her lost eyes. She walks slowly with a rolling waddle, supported with an old walking stick. She looks at nobody & talks to nobody, no greetings, no smiles, and no nods. She just walks with a purpose given to her by a doctor, not for pleasure, not for joy. One day I looked her in the eye as I walked past her, & I said “good morning” to her. She was astounded that someone had acknowledged her. She blinked & tried to smile, but hers was the face that had lost the art of smiling in the storms of life. The next day I repeated my greetings, & this time her smile was braver & cracked her face, & she actually answered my greeting with a “good morning” of her own. I realized that her voice was rusty, unused, a silent voice that had been taken to the grave in the ears of her long-gone husband, together with her secrets, dreams & love, interred & forgotten, only leaving her the silence, & in her lonely silence her voice had forgotten how to work, rusting & un-oiled over the solitary forgotten years. I now get a greeting from this lovely person every morning, & her voice is stronger from being used, being acknowledged, being smiled at. If you notice someone who is lonely please smile & say hello because one day we may be in that situation where our voices become rusty with silence & loneliness.

No comments:

Post a Comment