She must have been an artist.
She walked into the pool area and drew every eye. Her hair was divided into a stark contrast of colors – one side black, one side white. Long, fake eyelashes fluttered, creating a small breeze and batting away any insects who dared cross her path. Colorful and dangly earrings draped down to the base of her neck.
She knew how to make an entrance and all eyes were upon her as she sacheted over to the hot tub area.
I refocused my atttention on our teacher and mastered the next watery move with true athletic finesse. I am, after all, an aquasizer.
Our next set required us to turn and do push-ups on the wall of the pool. I placed my palms on the top of the wall and was then in a perfect position to see the hot-tub area. A group of special needs folks was enjoying the hot water, along with several caregivers who were overseeing them.
My artist was among the caregivers.
While she had drawn my gaze with her colorful personality, what truly captured me was her compassion on display. An elderly special needs man was sitting in a wheelchair next to the hot tub. This young woman was sitting cross-legged beside him. She reached up and took hold of his hand. I watched as a small trembling smile crossed his lips. For the next full set of push-ups, and the moves after that, I watched their interaction.
She held his hand. He grasped hers.
It seemed like no one had held his hand for a very, very long time.
And what brought the tear to my eye was the look on his face. He wasn’t watching us – as athletic and animated as we all were. He wasn’t watching his friends in the hot tub as they chatted joyfully together. His eyes were fixed on the girls hand nestled in his.
Simple, human touch.
It reminded me again about the power of human interaction.
To look someone in the eye.
To hold a hand.
To meet a deep longing in another heart.
So thank you, colorful one, for reminding me again about the power of simple things.
I am off to find a hand to hold.