Two old people sitting on a bench at the park. Fall foliage surrounding them. Like a womb. Hands resting on each other. Not a word spoken, only the chit chat of autumn birds and the hush of an occasional wind. A lot of dark reds, shiny browns, contrasting their grey flannels and worn faces. Two old people sitting on a bench at the park of your imagination.
They say peace arrives with old age. One has to imagine though, the price of that peace. Or does it derive from the fact that they solemnly be able to sit on that bench on that fall afternoon? Is it their present rather than their past that provides the peace which makes them look like a still picture rather than a scene at a moving picture? For they for sure have a past, a long one at that, and their faces, albeit motionless, tell the story without ever needing words or action.
One wonders if the two old people sitting on that bench at the park in one particular fall day have music to their ears. What do they hear as they listen to the sound of the wind, or how about that dog who enters the scene with that confused look on his face? Will he destroy the still image? And will he bark? One wonders, but only for a fraction of a second.
The dog leaves them be with the same sheepish look on his face. He moves on. But that fraction of time bearing a certain unknown is now being reflected in the small movement in the man’s hand. Now he’s holding her hand more firmly. The moment is spared. The wind takes on flying a few adrift leaves around the bench. A tick appears on his forehead and dissipates right away. Did she notice that? One cannot tell from what one observes.
Rays of the weak fall sun shine through the evergreen spikes. And as they move the scene moves like it’s dancing a valse move. The action seems to go unnoticed by our couple. Are they a couple? Their frozen body language says so. They touch on the shoulders. Their knees have that notion of familiarity with each other as they are joined on the sides. And their hands. Each curve, each crease fit the others’ perfectly. The relative youth of the woman seems to keep her partner’s wrinkles at bay as it has defined the amount and location of them as time went by. As their hands lay on each other in perfect harmony that only time and passion could refine.
It feels like their inner song goes on. It feels like the sun relaxes their faces. It looks like they have all the time in the world to cherish the scene, each other and life. In their elder and small gasps that younger people call breathing they show an innate expansion of life. A life squeezed out of that particular moment. Of peace.
The dog reenters the view. With the same astonished look on his face. Makes a few rounds around the bench before deciding to come closer enticed by the motionless couple on it. With his now slowly waggling tail he does the most unimaginable; he jumps on their lap with a full force. Shaken by the impact and still motionless the couple turn to each other. A second sees their hidden reliant smile as they go back to their previous stance. Happy with the welcome, the dog rounds up on their laps with a peaceful murmur. And the wind keeps on blowing at a small pace. As the bird chirp their farewells.
Two old people are sitting on a bench at the park. Fall foliage surrounds them. There is a dog on their lap. And except for their involuntary movements all are in unison in peace… One wonders.