He walks down the street; he looks late 50ish; he is balding; he is Caucasian; he is looking down so earnestly that he is almost bent over. This man has appeared it seems, from nowhere. Sitting on this street corner in my Ice Cream stand since early morning I have a clear view of the entire block, seeing everyone as they start down the block from the only entrance to it at the one end, the black iron gate at the edge of this dead end street. The gate is attached to a wrought iron fence which stretches across the street from the red brick building on the left to the three story building on the right and stops anything from going beyond the street end. Except for climbing over the eight foot fence there is only one way to gain access to the street; through the gate. There is also no access from either side because the buildings lining the street are all adjoining. This little enclosure is very private and quiet. I saw no one start down the street from either direction yet here he is; I'm just a stones toss away from being able to reach out and touch him. This community is small and the residents all know each other; I don't know this man; I have never seen him before.
Nearing my little stand I can get a better look at the face of this man. His wisdom shows; age written in slight wrinkles on his face. Still bent and looking down into his hands I can not make out what has him so captured, but the smile on his face in plain view is so very engaging and contagious.
Almost close enough to touch I glance away momentarily, open my mouth to speak to the man and find him gone when I turn back; unnerving to my feet-on-the-ground and straight forward tell-it-like-it-is disposition. The question would be 'where did he go?' and an immediate answer or explanation expected, without hesitation or excuse. There was no one to give me the answer I expected nor any explanation I could see for myself.
Ready to question myself about whether I did indeed see the man, I looked down to find in my open hands, a rose the beauty of which was beyond depiction with each petal perfectly formed and each a different hue. It glowed as though the sunshine was being held inside its small form. I could only stare as the rose seemed to encircle me in its folds with a warmth & peace I can't describe.
As I stared, a friend from the shop next door started towards my little stand. Looking up to greet her I said "Good morning; what a lovely day; have you ever seen anything so beautiful? (referring to and holding towards her, the rose in my hand). "What are you showing me?; I see nothing but your hands", she replied. Checking in my hands I could clearly see the rose still there. Glancing up once more, her look of puzzlement said she could not. Speechless, I smiled and placed the rose carefully in a safe place near my purse, walked over to the chair at the little table outside, motioned for her to sit and I joined her, wondering how I could ever explain the message I had just received..........
(Writing prompt - WWU)