Our worlds collided in the piazza of a little medieval Italian hilltop village.
Dressed in a black woolen skirt and matching knitted cardigan, she made her way across the square in my direction.
Her skin was golden, wrinkly and furry, just like a peach that harvest had forgotten to pick...
Her figure was short and stout and although her years were advancing, there was an unmistakable sturdiness to her. Her resilience no doubt cultivated from a lifetime of navigating the cobbled streets of village life.
The ravages of time had seemingly taken everything from her… And all that remained was the kind of beauty that could not be stolen.
I took a sip on my lukewarm coffee as I attempted to take in this quintessentially Italian scene. And as I did I noticed that the old woman was holding a bunch of freshly cut geraniums in her arms.
The stems were wrapped plainly which only seemed to amplify their arresting tangerine colour.
But the thing that struck me most was the way in which she held the bouquet.
She was firm yet tender, embracing the flowers as if she was carrying all the hope and promise of a newborn infant.
As she stepped closer to me, I offered a smile in her direction. I wanted to let her know that I had seen her exquisiteness reflected in every petal.
But she noticed me not…
Her gaze was unwavering as she shuffled passed me. Her train was not stopping at this station and she continued to walk to the other side of the square until she was out of sight.
As her memory lingered in my mind, I silently thanked her for the gift she had inadvertently given me…
I then carried on with my contemplations about life and love under the warmth of the Sabine sun.