There are many things I love about Sundays. Brunch. People you love. Awareness of surroundings. Rest. It is a day for True Sustainable Living. We all need time to unplug and think. Today I needed it: about relationships, direction, and goals. So after a relaxing meal a la First Watch with dear friends (incorporation of local foods into their menu would be amazing; if anyone feels compelled in the same way, I will absolutely take on a collaborative effort toward drafting a plan...) I headed to the tennis courts wanting the comfort of a backboard, an ipod, and the quiet streets of Clayton on a Sunday.
When I walk up, I see that the court is occupied. I approach the man steadily hitting groundstrokes against the wall to ask him if we can share. He agrees with a smile. After I take out my racket, he asks me if I would like to play, and I say sure, with a smile.
His name is Jerry. He has bright white hair and moves really slow. I didn't ask his age (I would guess 85+) because for a frame of time, I believe he felt like he was 30. We shared stories. His friends and his wife are no longer living, but he really loves tennis. He has tennis elbow, but knows it will get better. He told me where he used to work and where he has travelled. He told me he misses his friends, a lot. He told me to keep all of them that I can. He said they will help keep me sane, and to listen more than talk.
I like Jerry. According to outside perspective, at any age, building and maintaining relationships seem to be the most valuable commodity this side of heaven.