Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Cane Transforms

Got off the train tonight and who did I see but my former next door neighbor, out taking a stroll, hobbling along on a cane.

He's in his 70's. We walked for a while and he began talking dispiritedly about how he "wastes his life" nowadays by doing things like taking strolls. He's a widower, and his kids have long ago moved out.

I felt bad for him as I struggled to understand his words. He's from County Mayo, in Ireland, and sometimes my ears stumble on his accent.

Somehow we started talking about hurling, an Irish game that looks, from a distance, a bit like lacrosse. I confessed I had never seen it played and asked him if it was a good game.

You should have seen the energy flow into his body. The cane in his hand suddenly became a hurley stick as he vigorously demonstrated basic moves to me. Yes, he had played the game, and rather well too, as a young man.

Playfulness had replaced
His sense of waste.

3 comments:

Old Zeke said...

You may try to scare up the recent Wall Street Journal article for him. It was on the front page of either Thursday's or Friday's edition.

Old Zeke said...

Okay, I now see your post was written the same day as the article. I imagine you've seen it, or he has...

JohnJEnright said...

Old Zeke, I think I had seen the WSJ article, at least the start of it, that morning, since we get it at home. So I guess hurling was on my mind!