The Blue Cap

She wears a dark blue raincoat on this cloudy day, and a lighter blue cap, something out of the sixties. I can imagine her then, a young woman, wearing one to a party, dazzling with her golden hair and brilliant smile, charming them all.

Now her hair is white. And white tennis shoes. Always the white shoes.

And alone. Always alone. Except for the dog.

Her dog is smallish and also white, like most of the dogs in this community. For some reason, they are the canine of choice, maybe because they don’t eat much or fit just so on an eighty-year old lap.

As she walks, she sways side to side. Maybe her hips don’t work as they used to or she is shielding her knees. Still she walks. Twice a day. Every day. At a good pace relatively. Holding tight to the leash. As though something about it keeps her upright.

I walk past her and smile, saying Good Afternoon. She doesn’t seem to recognize me, though we have passed a few times before. Her face brightens and she smiles, but she doesn’t speak back. Unused now to speaking to anyone, except her children on the phone every few weeks.

She is alone. Always alone. Except for the dog, who is now the beneficiary of all the love and care she has stored up since her husband passed.

So she walks every day. Rain or shine. In peril of falling every step it seems to me. I worry for her.

She is alone. Yet there are many like her here in this community. She passes them every day. They have never spoken yet they know each other.

As she passes me, I turn and watch for a second.

Maybe this is not her story. Maybe she has a family close to her, who visit most days, like my next door neighbor. Maybe her husband does the laundry and she walks the dog for exercise. I don’t really know.

But as I imagine her, she is a reminder.

And a warning.

And an inspiration.

I will find my blue cap.

Comments 4

 
Rosy Cole on Saturday, 04 May 2019 15:40

Such humanity and empathy here. Clear and natural as a mountain stream. This lady is no member of a cardboard crowd. If only we all paused to consider...how it might change us...and where might the world be now?

Such humanity and empathy here. Clear and natural as a mountain stream. This lady is no member of a cardboard crowd. If only we all paused to consider...how it might change us...and where might the world be now?
Stephen Evans on Saturday, 04 May 2019 22:13

Thank you Rosy! Yes, I agree - just just a few moments pause each day - for awareness. Like everyone else I find it hard to rise above the cacophony, but there is richness to be found when I do.

Thank you Rosy! Yes, I agree - just just a few moments pause each day - for awareness. Like everyone else I find it hard to rise above the cacophony, but there is richness to be found when I do.
Ken Hartke on Saturday, 04 May 2019 17:50

There is something to be gained by living in a walkable community. I really don't -- I would have to walk four miles to a store -- but I can walk just for the exercise, and never meet a soul. In this case, there is something of a relationship...a recognized face or an anticipated meeting. You will worry if you don't see her. I have a friend with some health difficulty who walks her dog a few times a day. When I visit I offer to take the dog, Charley, for his walks and the folks I meet recognize the dog but not me. They wonder what happened to my friend...is she okay? There is probably some relief when she is back on the sidewalk with Charley after a day or two. She and Charley are part of the comfy "furniture" that make up the neighborhood.

There is something to be gained by living in a walkable community. I really don't -- I would have to walk four miles to a store -- but I can walk just for the exercise, and never meet a soul. In this case, there is something of a relationship...a recognized face or an anticipated meeting. You will worry if you don't see her. I have a friend with some health difficulty who walks her dog a few times a day. When I visit I offer to take the dog, Charley, for his walks and the folks I meet recognize the dog but not me. They wonder what happened to my friend...is she okay? There is probably some relief when she is back on the sidewalk with Charley after a day or two. She and Charley are part of the comfy "furniture" that make up the neighborhood.
Stephen Evans on Saturday, 04 May 2019 22:14

Community is just the word, Ken.

Community is just the word, Ken.
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Captcha Image

Writing For Life

We are a small, friendly community who value writing as a tool for developing a brighter understanding of the world and humanity. We share our passions and experiences with one another and with a public readership. ‘Guest’ comments are welcome. No login is required. In Social Media we are happy to include interesting articles by other writers on any of the themes below. Enjoy!


Latest Blogs

Umbria, 2010 It seems like a timeless place. But in the old town in the hills, the bells count the hours and the quarter hours, as they have for gener...
  This is something called Watchathon week on cable here, where they give free access to various channels. One was a classical music channel and...
It was a golden evening and Barrio San Blas was charming. We were well fed on the local version of Ají de Gallina and a favorite local pilsener follow...

Latest Comments

Nicholas Mackey Ride Free
20 May 2022
May you always be healthy, Rosy.I appreciate the facility of your website which enables audio record...
Rosy Cole Ride Free
19 May 2022
Thank you! "Onwards and upwards!" That's exactly what my surgeon kept saying, bless her. It was a co...
Nicholas Mackey Ride Free
19 May 2022
I'm really sorry to learn of your need for such vital medical care, Rosy. I sincerely hope you have ...
Rosy Cole Ride Free
18 May 2022
Thanks so much for the link, Nicholas. I'm a great advocate of the value of journaling for getting t...
Rosy Cole Musical Dimensions
18 May 2022
Ah, J S Bach, God's coder of harmony!