A new season, a renewal

It is the quintessential picnic in the meadow this day in May. Leaflets are bursting on the stubby branches of the old elm, and the apple trees bespeak a promise of things to come. For now they are satisfied just to be. High above in a distant tree the call of a thrush can be heard, and from far away comes the throaty reply.

We sit there, he and I, savoring our lives together. Destiny brought us together and we accept with gratitude this gift of love. I knew this man at first glance so very long ago. . . .

His eyes were not blue - not brown - but a nondescript muddy color. His dark hair couldn't deny a funny little wisp that escaped from the others and reached for the sun. His youthful face was strong - the face of a caring man, my mother had said. He cared. He cared about everything. His mouth curled up in a whimsical way, half smiling. His eyes caressed. Life would not pass him by; this was a man whose very being commanded action. What needed doing must be done, and that was that. Mind, heart, and spirit were dedicated to life.

The picnic blanket curls up at its edge. I watch as a monarch butterfly alights, immersed in a world of its own, oblivious to the two strangers sharing its blanket. The two are not strangers at all but man and wife - for life. Life renews itself, and love grows. We cannot explain. . . .

The passage of time brings few, and many, changes. His eyes are dusky. His hair has one silvery wisp that goes astray. His face is strong and a few well-earned lines have enriched it. He smiles and his eyes, unseeing now, still caress. But his vision far exceeds that of anyone I have ever known, and his caring for others has expanded his being and that of everyone he touches.

The thrush flies from the tall tree and joins its mate in a nearby shrub to feast on red berries, and there is silence in the meadow.

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