Let me share a lovely moment of voyeurism with you….
I was on my way back home after having met a friend to discuss a new business opportunity when my phone started buzzing off the wall with texts. They needed tending to and while I like to think I can multitask with the best, driving and simultaneously texting can be life altering on even the best of days. I just didn’t want to take the risk so I looked for a spot to pull over. I was in a fairly rural area but I spotted what looked like an old church-turned-private-business-type-building up ahead. I pulled off and noticed that the building had a large yard attached and offered shaded picnic tables. Nice spot. It was a beautiful early fall kind of day. The sun was shining and oh-so-warm but the light breeze could add just a hint of a chill now and then. It’s the perfect kind of weather to just laze around in.
I started to tend to the ever increasing texts when something caught my eye and caused me to look up. A car had pulled into the access road behind the building and parked. The occupants, a man and woman, exitted the vehicle and were making their way across the grassy lot with blankets and picnic basket in hand. I can’t quite explain why but this couple captivated me. I had to watch them. Maybe it was the gentleman’s chilvarous mannerisms from the start–he held the picnic basket for her, he let her walk ahead with his hand on the small of her back, he chose the spot where they would ultimately rest but not before checking for her approval, I don’t know what it was but I enjoyed watching them. Maybe it was the way they looked, they sort of matched in a way. They looked like they belonged together yet I couldn’t tell if they were friends, lovers or married to each other. I couldn’t tell if they had known each other for 10, 20 or 30 years, or if they were on a first date but they definitely looked like they belonged together. They intrigued me.
They were a handsome couple. They weren’t kids but I couldn’t even guess their ages. They were casually and comfortably dressed and I wondered why they had the luxury of such a leisurely lunch in the middle of the work week.
She spread the blanket on the ground and he put the picnic beside it. She arranged herself on the blanket and kicked off her shoes. She must feel very comfortable with him, such a homey gesture to just kick off her shoes like that. She rested on one elbow. He joined her and sat facing her with an equal and opposite posture. It was all so easy. I wondered again how long they’d known each other. Do they do this all the time? Do they know this spot?
They didn’t eat right away. I could see that they were talking and I really wished I could hear what they were saying. He raised his hand and put it in her hair. It was such a gentle gesture. He stroked it and played with it, moving it this way and that. I think he loves her. It was the way he looked at her. He had an easy smile with her, his posture was open, he leaned in toward her, his hand in her hair. Yes, I think he loves her. How long have they known each other? How did they meet?
She smiled an easy smile when she looked at him. She cocked her head to one side as he put his hand in her hair. She liked that. She reached for his hand as he removed it from her hair and held it, kissed it. She touched his face in such a gentle way. I think she loves him, I could tell by the way she looked at him. She had this dreamy expression on her face–he had the same.
She busied herself with the picnic but never stopped talking. He watched her. Every once in a while he would nod or say a word or two but all the while he watched her. I wonder what he is thinking. I wonder what she is saying. She removed containers of food from the basket and placed it in front of him. She fed him and he nodded. They are very comfortable with one another as they enjoy their lunch. They eat, they talk, they laugh. He kisses her.
I can’t stop watching these people.
They finish eating and she puts all of the containers back in the basket. He moves closer to her on the blanket and kisses her. It’s more passionate this time but tender. He holds her. She runs her hand up and down his back, across his shoulders. They are beautiful to watch. They are serene and I don’t want to stop watching them.
He lays down on the blanket and she snuggles in next to him. She is nestled into his side with her head on his shoulder. She drapes her arm across his stomach and just runs her fingertips along his side, his arm, his stomach. They are still but for the movement of her hand. I wonder if they are talking. I wonder what they are thinking. Who are these people and how is it that two total strangers can captivate me so?
She gets up on one elbow and leans down to kiss him. She runs her hand across his cheek. He moves in to her, he raises up and now she is laying down and he is on one elbow and he leans down to kiss her. He holds her face so gently as he kisses her. It’s all in slow motion or it seems to be. They are so gentle with each other, it’s dreamlike. It’s love.
Today I saw love. Today I saw two people who love one another and it was beautiful. Against a backdrop of daily struggles, trials, and tribulations, I saw love. It was pure, it was simple, and it gave me serenity even if only for a moment.
I’m still struggling with why this couple captivated me. I think it was the moment in time, it was the purity of the situation, it was his gentle way with her, her loving ways with him. Have I ever known this in my own life? Did I cherish it as these two people seem to cherish each other? I don’t know. What I do know is that as I drove away I had a sense of peace. I was still, I was quiet, and I was content. If I learned nothing else today I learned that I should and will be making the effort to pay more attention to what goes on around me. I will find more joy, more peace in the tiny moments life has to offer. In a sea of daily struggles, in a world of honking horns, angry people, and general unrest I will look for the stillness, the peace and the serenity. I know it’s there. I saw it today, today when I saw love.
+Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro
+My Baked Stuffed Life