An Old Man Gone Away...........

Often he could be found just off the edge of the sidewalk wandering....searching, his white cane giving away the secret of his challenge , and yet doesn't every town have one of these gentle souls in their midsts . What better way to teach a wandering boy how to give away one moment of grace than by speaking softly ;
" Can I help you to the sidewalk , Harold.?", and then a hand on his to guide him away from the traffic noise and back to the curb, ....
"Hunh..... Oh ,yes please."
Harold was blind from a younger age , lived alone in his older years in his own house on a quiet little street next to the elementary school. Although he was always walking the sidewalks and finding his way around town on his own , I can't count the times that he would be seen carrying a grocery bag in one hand , his cane in the other with a look of determination on his old face . A tall man and thin as a rail , he wore Dickies khaki work clothes and always appeared neatly squared away.
I know now that he must have enjoyed his daily walks , maybe a jaunt to the local market just for an excuse to listen to the din of laughter , the yells and screams of the children at recess. Harold could often be seen standing quietly at the little cement bridge listening to the fast flowing water in the brook that flowed near his home. I can still see him there , in my minds eye , slowly wwalking along in his own dignified manner.
Every town has thier signature personalities , their local clowns , Grinch's or even madman , or women , the ugly neighbor that chases the kids away from their back fields just to have something to do. At least in the years that we ourselves claim as being children , we have many people that we will remember for a lifetime, and Harold i will always remember you !
Small towns are simply snapshots , perhaps , of a larger world , and It is these small and tender mercies that are the gist of a boys life , there are huge and very personal lessons of a life , that happen quickly and quietly in small and private situations. Thank you Harold ! For the smallest moments and yet one of the largest lessons of my life.

Comments 20 comments

jami l. pereira 5 years ago

Beautifully poignant ,this brings back soo many memories of so many of the elderly i have befriended in my lifetime , just because they seem lonley as i , this almost made me shed a tear , very sweet and touching , thanks for the read , i voted up and awesome and beautiful because it is just that! :)


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Jami thank you , I do miss the past ! In my life small wonders , and as old things and such people are my anchor!....


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

Beautiful and too close to home, and so it brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes we forget that our elderly still have so many little gifts of knowledge to give to us... Voted up and awesome, and beautiful, and interesting...


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

K.Burns Darling .......Darling , Thank you !....Glad you stopped by......:-}


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

This brought back memories. The people that touched our lives when we were you and left an impression are the gems that helped form our characters.

Thank you for sharing


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Rosemay Lets remember them tonight Huh ?....Thank you!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

That was supposed to be 'when we were young'

I often think of some of them and wonder if they are looking down on me now.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Rosemay ,Somehow my dear , I think they are !


LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 5 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

Beautiful. It breaks my heart when others don't realize what treasures people like Harold are. Voted up!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Well , You are correct LABrashear , Soooo true.....:-}


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Lovely read. Thanks


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

We too have our Harolds, mad men and such like. The weird thing I find is that the good ones like Harold are always the first to leave us, leaving behind the mad one and the ugly one who chases the kids away. It's so sad losing the great ones like Harold.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Lady E , Thank you my friend , and how is E London these days ?.....:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Cardisa , Perhaps they leave us to replace them ...would you take my hand and lead me back to the pathway!? I will be an old fool soon enough......:-}


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Thinking about old times it's surprising how the memories of big events have faded, yet the memory of somebody like Harold will stay with you for ever.

Thank you for sharing and best wishes.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

M_M my lady , I agree ! Perhaps thats our minds way of grounding something within us . To the little building blocks that formed who we have become. We are lucky to hold such memories dear! Now help me across the street will you !....LOL....:-}


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This brought back a memory of an old black man named John Ford who lived in my little town where i grew up. He lived down by the river and spent his days picking up unwanted items people had thrown away. He was the only Black man in the town. He had no friends. I often wondered why he chose to live there. I remember feeling sorry for him and i've never forgotten him. Thank you for sharing your memory of Harold......


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Always Exploring , Sometimes I think that old men... my becoming one soon .... ,are happier with who they are then we think! Dont feel bad for John , for Harold . they were there for us , I think.....:-}


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hello ahorseback. Oh, this one is so wonderful. This is the kind of memory I cherish. There is so much more than what the eye sees...there is within this scene much that the heart holds. Momentary glimpses of that minute in time...that image; and the flood of feelings, thoughts that are inspired by it.

Sometimes, it is only in these memories that we realize how very deeply touched we were by such sights...and the interaction we may have shared with the personality(s) who were the characters of these experiences. That their life had to have been complex; many faceted and unique unto them...that an entire life with all the experiences that go along w/that life.. made up that one instant when we were personally effected by a chance meeting or a good hearted, gentle interaction.

Well, I really love this one. All ups..except funny..doesn't apply. Just a very beautiful scene you've painted, ahorseback. Thank you.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Lucky Cats , Thank you my dear , Yes we are so lucky in small towns , It seems like each personality is unique and so memorable. And yet I have heard the same thing of growing in the city too I guess....Dont cha just love these people. If I hubbed about my own family any more you might think we were from mars !....:-}

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