Where the Water Goes
It lasted but a few seconds, this brief encounter I had, and yet it lingers still in my mind. I suspect it will continue to visit me in the years to come. The night was stormy, the morning was dreary and damp, but the afternoon was beautiful, radiant sunshine, and the air was pristine clear. Rounding the bend, enjoying every step of my run, I came upon a car, pulled off onto the grassy side of the road. It was an older car showing its age; a dark weathered green, rust spots here and there. Many years beyond its prime, it had been a deluxe model in its day. Only a faded memory of its past glory, no heads turned now when it drove by.
About fifty feet or so from the parked car was a waterfall. The night’s heavy rains flooded the small creek spilling the water over the falls and the water was roaring, foaming, and churning as it made its way onto wherever water goes. Approaching the car, I could see its occupants – a woman and a man. Both were elderly, their hair full and white. They did not speak, not a word did I hear, and yet I overheard more than they knew. Their heads rested back against the seats. They both were turned towards the waterfall. She was looking at the falls; he was looking at her. It was more than a look I saw, an adoring gaze, I’d say. He wore a smile, his hand, wrinkled and aged, was extended, resting on her arm.
On an autumn day, they sat in the autumn of their lives. The years had rushed by as swiftly as the water before them. They once were young, you know, their skin smooth, their hair dark, the bodies agile. They too once had a house busy with children running in and out. They too rushed from PTA meetings, to piano recitals, to graduations and weddings. They too had very full schedules and so many demands. But now that was all gone, it seemed another lifetime. Gone were the people and experiences, gone were the days they shared together. Now time seemed to move more slowly, but it was still moving on like the water before them. Their time together was coming to an end.
There, framed in the car window, I saw him look at her and with his gentle touch say, “Thank you God, for giving her to me, someone so dear. Thank you dear, for sharing my life. We’ve had our night storms and felt the force of raging waters. But through it all, we’ve managed to stay afloat and always looked for the rainbows and enjoyed the waterfalls. You are more beautiful today than the first day we met. I love you. Dear wife, enjoy this moment; our time is all but gone. Someday we will meet again where the water goes!”
Rev. Wendell Mettey