I slowed ... as I am often want to do when I know it's her. It is then that I catch a glimpse of the flecks of green that make of her eyes a portrait of familiarity. Sometimes I laugh aloud at the wispy blond tendrils that have been permanently wind-blown about her tilted head; most of them into her eyes. Her cheeks bear the rosiness of much-outdoored youngster; a grin is firmly fixed.
She stares at me too sometimes, as if trying to place me. I wonder if it's my wrinkles, or my gnarled hands, or even the grey at my temples that baffles her? Or perhaps it's a lack of gaiety, a seriousness in which I'm robed sometimes that seems altogether unfitting, even strange to her?
It really doesn't matter, because she is always quick to take hold of my hand and, when she is able, lead me to a place of sitting, of resting, and often of laughing (though sometimes of crying). She insists that I listen; that I look.
Quite often I balk, deferring to busy-ness, or due to a disdain for folly. It does seem a waste; a folly at times.
But mostly I make the time, because I absolutely delight in seeing the world through her eyes. She has the uncanny ability of taking a near-dead, as yet red Maple leaf and making it alive with the memories of another time, another intersection of life. Her abilities in this fashion are fresh in my memory because she brought them to bear just this morning.
We're an odd pair, this tendriled lass and me. But oh do I love her; and oh do I look forward to meeting up with her again-and-again along my way, and hers - - even when the last hints of the Maple's leaf color have dimmed to drab. What remains cannot be diminished; no can she.
The lass, as well as the photo is me ... the child that continues to live within.