Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)
- TITLE: Serendipity
By Gary Morris
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A few mingled along the sidewalks on which I strolled. They appeared to be enjoying their weekend more than most. A few were on bikes, while some balanced on skate boards. Younger ones played in the grass while the older ones rested on a bench.
As I was observing the scenery, I almost bumped into a small girl with beautiful blond ringlets in her hair. I stopped to say “Hi” and noticed the bright blue eyes and charming smile. I also noticed her fingers were soiled from the flowerbed nearby.
“What’s your name,” I asked with a smile.
With the most tender voice I heard her reply, “My name is Spring.”
“I love that name,” I exclaimed. “Spring, why are your fingers so dirty?”
“I like to plant flowers,” she whispered to me as her mom called for her to move out of the way.
I smiled at the mom, waved goodbye to Spring and slowly proceeded to walk. The people seemed so friendly today and each offered a smile. Some were willing to kindly speak, while others were more willing to stop and share. Several conversations were taking place both here and there.
I noticed Summer, my friend's daughter, gathered with her friends around the hot dog stand. Each giggled and laughed as they sipped on soda. Not eavesdropping a bit, I could hear them talk about their upcoming vacations at the beach. I watched as Summer pulled her new bathing suit from a shopping bag and showed off her latest bottle of tanning oil.
Laughing at their vanity, I moved on down the street dodging the growing crowd of eager pedestrians. The colorful leaves waved in the warm breeze as the smell of smoke drifted from the barbeque cook-off down the street. I was so captivated by the aroma and racket that I almost walked over an old friend I had not seen in nearly a year.
“Autumn,” I yelled to her. “How have you been?”
With a pleasant smile she replied, “I have been good! I haven’t seen you in quite some time.”
“I know. It has been a long time. What’s been going on in your world?” I asked.
“I have been busy getting ready for the children. One is in college at State, one is married with twin boys in Idaho and one is working out in California. They are all coming home for Thanksgiving and we are planning a big family reunion.”
“My, I can’t believe they are now grown. It only seems like yesterday when they were playing in my backyard and riding their bikes on our street. Where has time gone?”
Autumn seemed to be in a rush, so we said goodbye and slowly walked away. I was certainly proud to see how well she had aged and smiled when I thought of her now being a grandmother.
I paced on down the way and turned the corner just in time to see an older gentleman resting on a park bench. I could hardly believe my eyes. I hid behind a tree and peered around to see if it truly was the old man I remembered from my childhood.
He sat in his long black overcoat and boots. His thinning white hair was mostly hidden by his hat. I could see his cane and his bag. No one sat with him, yet everyone seemed to stare as if he was some dreaded soul that no one should go near.
I paused for a while, thinking of all the times my fear of him kept me locked inside. As a child I could never play outside when he was around. My mom kept me in and sealed the doors and windows tight. Oh, how I hated those long, cold days and nights.
Now as a man I am not as fearful of him as I once was. However, he certainly is no favorite of mine. With all due respect, I pushed aside my personal feelings and walked over to join him on the bench. With a solemn look he stared at me and I greeted him with a grin.
“Good evening Mr. Winter. May I sit and cool for a while?”
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