Not long ago I ventured downtown to do a little shopping. Walking from one store to another, I spied a bench sitting in a shady spot along the sidewalk and decided to take a break from shopping to enjoy one of my favorite past-times; people watching.
Out of the hustling and bustling crowd, two people in particular caught my eye. They were an elderly couple - late sixties or so, and were slowly strolling down the sidewalk. What drew my attention to them was they were holding hands. This was somehow touching to me.
As I watched them move further and further down the street, I tried to imagine what their life together was like and wondered what experiences they'd shared over the years. I also thought how wonderful it was after all those years together to still be holding hands -- a true sign of their love and devotion to each other.
Simple displays of affection
Soon they disappeared around the corner and my gaze returned to the hurried crowd. As I watched other couples pass me by -- both young and old, most seemed disinterested in their partners. I began to realize even something as simple as holding hands seems to be quite rare these days.
Getting up from the bench I resumed my shopping, but continued to think about the elderly couple walking hand in hand. It struck me how important this sort of public display of affection can be and what a wonderfully simple way this is for demonstrating our love for each other.
I'm not suggesting we all make mad passionate love in the streets, but I do feel such things as walking hand in hand or arm in arm with our partners tells them we're proud to have them in our lives, and we don't mind letting others know it too. A kiss on the cheek in front of friends, a hug while standing in line to buy a movie ticket, leaning over to say, "I love you," in a crowded restaurant, these simple displays of affection can send a powerful message to our partners.
Reconfirming our love
Doing these things when we're alone is great too, but when we show our love for each other in public, this somehow is even more special. It's almost like we're reconfirming our love and devotion to each other -- choosing them above all others. Showing our affection openly tells our partners they are loved, needed and wanted, and that we want the world to see and share in our happiness.
Many years from now when I'm walking with my wife down a crowded sidewalk somewhere, I hope we're the couple someone notices and thinks to themselves, "How wonderful after all those years together, they still walk hand in hand."
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