I saw this gentleman out with his walking stick earlier in the day taking his morning constitution.
A short time later on I caught sight of him for a second time as he crossed the road up ahead of me; taking a seat on one of the wooden benches in the square, here in Emsworth.
I watched as he carefully placed his walking stick down by his side. Then cupping both hands he drew them to his mouth and blew his warm breath into them. Resting both elbows on his knees he then leant forward tightly clasping his intertwined fingers in an effort to revive some circulation.
He looked like the sort of man who had led a very full and very interesting life; one which he had now earned the time to look back on and to muse and reflect over.
I wondered if perhaps he had previously worked as a craftsman during his life though his hands now bore the indications of arthritis in their joints.
I often think about the more elderly in our society; and In truth I would have liked to have spent a little time just sitting alongside and talking to this gentleman.
As I study this image more closely though; it appears on first impressions at least that he is quite sad, isolated, and deeply reflective?
There are so many more of us now living well into our old age. Some still fortunate to have partners or companions; some still having their family close to them, and some the company of a true friend.
Others however live a very different and often lonely solitary lifestyle. Many never seeing a friendly face from when they get up in the morning through until they retire at bedtime. Life seems to have dealt many of our aging population a truly bad hand.
Having worked with the elderly in the past; I often question just exactly how it is that they manage to cope when feeling so detached from those their community?
Age is undoubtedly a treasured gift; and should be recognised as a time for those who have worked hard all their lives to now feel free do whatever it is they enjoy. But we all need company and we all need purpose and we all need love.
I just hope that this gentleman has all of these things in abundance.