by Elouise


eyes smile
reach out


She was about 10 or 11 years old,
quiet and a bit hesitant.
Though we’d never met, we shared a past.
Not together, but separately.

I’d just told the story about my childhood
to a group of adults and children.
She cried during part of it,
leaned  over and said something to her mother.

Later that day she came up to me, smiled,
and asked if she could sit with me.
Oh, yes! Please. Sit down!
I was thrilled.
I was still feeling a little raw.

For the next half hour or so we sat there side by side.
I asked her about herself;
she asked me about myself.
Nothing heavy;
just personal and friendly.

Before she left to go home with her mother
she asked whether she could email me someday.
Of course!
I wrote my email address on a scrap of paper.
She put it in her pocket, smiled, said goodbye and left with her mother.

My young friend knew about presence. She didn’t try to solve anything or get something done. The only thing she offered was a human connection that said ‘You’re not alone.’ It seems this was what both of us needed that day. I hope I’m like my young friend when I grow up!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 January 2016
Photo credit: DAFraser, November 2015
Longwood Conservatory Children’s Garden