Love on A NYC Street

On the last day of a trip to New York City last year with my family, I was left alone for a few hours before I needed to head to the airport to catch a flight home. We had stayed in a private apartment near Park Lane, a truly perfect location. We literally walked out of the doors and down the street and were immediately surrounded by New York’s finest stores and restaurants. The proximity to everything great was almost mind-boggling, so for the hours I was left alone, I opted to keep it simple and started out my day at a nearby coffee shop.

I sat at a window and watched as locals walked by and marathon runners started coming in for their post-run coffee. I then went to a church service at Columbia University, which was a peaceful respite to New York’s busy streets. I still had time after the service before my afternoon flight, so I walked to the nearby Laduree for macarons. I was thrilled to be there, as visiting it in Paris had been a delight. The best was yet to come, however…

As I stood in line agonizing over the flavors and quantity I would get and wondering how I’d get them onto the plane (I had arrived in NYC with only a backpack and purse), I gradually became aware of an elderly couple who had walked in behind me. I heard them talking first. The wife was telling a Laduree server that it was their second anniversary and she was treating her husband to a macaron in celebration. I looked back and was immediately struck by the couple’s obvious delight and almost newly wed happiness emanating from their faces. They were holding hands, both dressed impeccably, standing over the macarons, trying to choose. Their very presence suddenly changed the atmosphere, and there wasn’t a face that didn’t immediately brighten over that couple and their sweet joy in each other.

After leaving the store, I somehow found myself behind the couple as I walked back to the apartment. They were strolling up the street, arm-in-arm, as clearly in love as if it was their first time. I couldn’t help myself: I whipped out my phone and took a picture (avoiding their faces, obviously). It was a picture of New York that I won’t soon forget; a glimpse into two lives that, though they’d be considered old, were really just beginning again.

It is my hope that we can all reach that age with the dignity and joy that this couple radiated. Life doesn’t have to end when youth is gone. Love isn’t obsolete after sixty (or seventy, or whatever age). Perhaps, after all the ups and downs and happy and tragic loves of one’s youth, at the end of it all is a love that is joyful, steady, peaceful, and contented. Like that couple.

Until next time… 


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