An act of devotion


Photo by jcarlosn on Flickr

They slowly followed the young man to the table. He walked well, but slowly. She walked slowly, but not as well with a slight tilt to her head and an arm in a permanent bend.

He smiled at them, handed them menus and helped them settle in — both of them on the same side of the table.

Curious, that. I turned my attention back to the conversation at the table. There is, after all, a delicate balance to people watching.

Their order came quickly. Two identical plates piled high with broccoli.

I feigned interest in the repeated scenes of an empty racetrack and the incessant scroll along the immense television screen mounted on the wall behind and above the elderly couple at the next table. My peripheral vision focused on the action.

An act of devotion. An act of love. An act of beauty.

He gently reached over and cut her meat. Picking up her fork, he jabbed a chunk of chicken and turned the fork, placing it in his wife’s hand so she could eat. Then, he turned to his own plate to have a bite for himself.

The process continued, their gray heads almost touching as the fork was passed back and forth in quiet conversation.

They smiled at the server when she came to deliver their bill and graciously refused dessert before they began the slow journey back out the door.

This. This is commitment.

This is devotion.

This is love.

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