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Sharing a Bench in Antibes

Random Photo of the Day - Antibes, France

I was looking through some old photos this morning and found today's RPOTD.  I remember taking that photo as we strolled along the sea wall in the harbor area of Antibes.  I was struck by the elderly couple sitting on the wooden bench in the sun, sharing the simple companionable act of feeding the pigeons.  It is easy to imagine that they have done this same communion with nature and each other many, many times. Such a simple act defines, for me at least, how life and marriage really, near the end years of a journey together, become distilled in the radiant beauty of sitting side by side, faces to the sun, perhaps not saying one word to each other, just "being" together.

I have been alive for three thousand two hundred and forty-four weeks.  That's very sobering to figure out.  I couldn't find the small calculator so I did it out on paper.  When I looked at the product of my calculations I thought, "Wow!  Those weeks of my life have surely been a virtual treasure trove of experiences, some sad, most joyful."  I realize that I have been given the gift of a long and interesting life, filled with  every human experience.  What a lucky woman I have been.  I also have come to realize that I have no regrets.  My children are grown.  I have seen my grandchildren born.  I have loved my husband with a love I never could have imagined ever existed.  It took me two thousand five hundred and forty-eight weeks to find him.  It takes billions of years for carbon to turn to diamond so I am way ahead of the game.  All I really want from life is to be like the couple in the simply "be" with John, to hold our faces to the sun for as long as we have together.  When I sit and sort and sift and ponder life's complexities, I am amazed how simple our wants and needs become when we reach a certain stage of life.  I guess that is why I was moved to take a photo of an unknown, grey haired, elderly couple in far away Antibes, France.  Probably, most people are more moved by the scenic beauty of Antibes and I have photos of that also.  But I am, as always, more in awe of the beauty of my fellow human beings...color me weird.

I have just returned from the frozen tundra of Canada where I spent some time with my widowed eighty-four year old father.  I will write of that tomorrow.


Reader Comments (8)

Was there some melancholia drifting in, here? Do hope you have some pictures of Canada, would love to see some particularly if there is any of the Ontario area. My life is centred round a dentist at present without a hope of sitting in the sun. Strong breezes today although the leaf colours are beautiful, and they are coming off the trees in drifts. Have managed to have problems with my teeth and gums, now having two and three hour appointments per day. Sort of leaves little time for much else, the cheering thought is I should be able to eat at christmas although nuts wont be on the menu.

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill

Thought-provoking musings ... at a difficult time for me. I read your words and, of course, my John came to mind immediately. Hard to believe but on the 14th of Nov. he will be gone for 11 years. Only three thousand and eleven weeks young ... five weeks shy of 58 years. Neither number seems to make it any easier. Don't know if he really realized he was holding his first-born grandchild in his arms on Nov 3rd ... by then the cancer had spread to his brain. Fragments of recognition were intermittent and cherished.

Your posting helped me to think about the joyful times, the funny times, the sentimental times ... and they make the trying times seem insignificant.

Sorry to hear that you were up this way and we did not have an opportunity to chat. Hopefully, we will have an opportunity to share a cup of tea and some rich conversation in the future.

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