An Intimate Act

While making my way to work this morning on the bus I observed a simple encounter,  just a moment long, but it has stayed with me.

An older woman and a young man were sitting opposite one another in the seats at the front of the bus that face the isle.  The woman appeared to be in her 70’s, gray hair was peeking out from under her cap and she carried a shopping bag.  The man was in his 20’s, he had loaded his bike on the bus before boarding and was dressed for riding.

Out of the blue the woman raised her leg, extended her foot in the direction of the young man and asked, “Will you tie my shoe for me?”

And he, without a moments hesitation replied, “Sure”, leaned forward and tied her shoe.

Reaching out to tie her shoe seemed such an intimate act.  There was something humble and kind and honest in his quick response and in the ease in which he took action.

And requesting such basic assistance made the woman seem both strong and fragile at the same time.

The bus arrived at a transit center and I gathered my bag and exited out the back, looking over my shoulder toward the front where the old woman and young man were sitting.

The young man bound out the front toward the rack where his bike was latched and the older woman remained on the bus continuing on to a further stop.

And I have spent the entire day thinking about the beauty of this one brief moment.

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