I live at the top of a fairly large hill-at least, large compared to my home town. Every morning, I walk the ten minutes down the hill, down the street, and on to my three-hour grammar lesson. On days like today, with a dreary fog obscuring the typical view of the hills, trees, and red-roofed houses, there is nothing terribly exciting to look at: a parking lot, a forgotten gym, a car repair shop, and a few dozen parked cars on the street. At the bottom of the hill, though, there is a sight that I enjoy seeing nearly every day. There is an older couple going for a walk. They are probably in their seventies, if not older, both with canes, and walking arm-in-arm.
He looks exactly like the elderly French man you would see in films, complete with the woolen Newsie-esque cap, an aged but dignified blazer-just a little bit too big for him, and his woman holding his arm. She has the classic floral head scarf tied around her hair, large glasses, a trench coat the same shade of tan as her husband's coat, and is holding her husband's arm more to guide him than depend on his strength for support. This is probably the way their marriage worked over the years-he loves her and supports her and she helps him in all the ways that she can.
What I notice most though, is the tiny steps their fragile bodies allow. Neither one rushes the other in desperation to catch the next tram, but rather they take their time and enjoy the silence-only interrupted by the sound of the bus groaning up the hill- that only such a dreary morning can offer. Instead of being frustrated that they no longer move as quickly as the 20 year-old foreigner that is watching them, they smile at each other. They enjoy the peace that comes from walking beside the one they love as they most likely have for the greater part of their lives. If that isn't a testament to what it means to "grow old together", I don't know what is.