they were free

I spent some time watching people ice skate outside my window today. Sometimes I do that... just sit and watch people around me.

An elderly man and woman came to the lake earlier today. The man was very quiet and stared at the floor most of the time. He was fidgety and seemed anxious about something. I found out later he lives with Alzheimer's. The woman seemed tired. She moved slowly, shoulders slumped over slightly, and her eyes were filled with sorrow. She was taking care of him, helping him get his skates on and find his balance. Every once in awhile he would get frustrated at the process, and she would take hold of his hands and look into his eyes and he would calm. Once they had their skates on, they slowly made their way out of the building and onto the small path leading to the ice. She held his hand tightly as they walked. He looked fragile, as did she. At the edge of the rink she stepped onto the ice and then turned to assist him. His feet were unstable... he put his hands out to balance himself.

Then without hesitation, he pushed away and glided onto the ice. He was a picture of grace as he skated around that rink. The breeze danced through his white hair and a smile spread across his weathered face. Her eyes softened as she stood at the edge for a moment just watching him... then followed behind. They giggled each time their eyes met out there.

They were free.