He never said much, this little old man, just good morning in passing and have a good day upon leaving. Somehow, we both always ended our morning stroll on the quarter-mile paved trail, cooling down, stretching and attempting to draw out the morning. I don’t know his name, age, or even his story. He was a just kindly old man, a lover of nature, whom I passed every weekend for the last six years or so at the nature center. I think something has happened to him–I haven’t seen him in months. He was a regular, every weekend standing by the gate waiting for it to open.
Sometimes we take folks for granted, assuming they will always be there. Whether family, friend, or passerby, we forego getting to know people personally, never saying more than hello and sharing mere minutes of our lives. I’ve walked past this man for years, every weekend morning at 8 o’clock. We cordially shared a love of nature and the quiet solitude of an early morning. Words weren’t necessary to express it, it was written on our faces. He always offered a smile of camaraderie and a pleasant salutation. I fear he is gone. I miss his solidarity and attitude of gratefulness for the peaceful quiet of morning of the center we both love. Farewell old friend.