The Man with a Wave….
 

I first saw him very close to New Year’s day. It was early morning. He stood by the roadside wearing a tattered suit coat that hung loosely from his shoulders. To his back stretched a long dirt road that was lined on each side by towering oaks. I imagined the man to be as old as they were. He was about six feet tall, thin, and I thought at once he should have a cane to help support his stature against the wind, but his hands were free. He donned a grey, wide-brimmed crumpled hat, and then he waved.

This is the exact intersection where I first and last  saw the man with the wave

This is the exact intersection where I first and last saw the man with the wave(pictured 30 years later)

The man’s wave startled me and my cup of coffee. It was a simple wave, one he capped off with an earnest smile.  I never could have guessed I’d see him so many days from then on, standing by his lonesome along the roadside waving to me each morning, or in my memory so vividly some thirty years later.

It is a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

It’s a simple intersection like one million others, but it has meant so much to me.

 I found myself waving back to this man each day as I zoomed on to work. I’d yell out, “The man with the wave!” and extend my hand toward the man in triumphant affirmation that life was good. The event became so important to my mental health that each morning I hoped the man would be in place to issue the new day and my life his ‘official’ greeting. If not, I got gloomy. Who’d have ever have thought a wave could do that?

The months passed, soon a year slipped by. But, he was still there by the roadside every morning, waving to me and making my day. I often wondered if he’d walked down the dirt road to the hard top just to wave to me. I thought it possible that someone dropped him off at the corner.  Maybe he was waiting for a bus or, perhaps, for another person to pick him up? Certainly, he must have realized by my return smile and wave how his simple gesture of kindness lifted my spirits! I wish I’d asked, or told him.

I never stopped to speak with this man. Why? In retrospect I can say that his wave meant so much to me that there seemed to be no need to expand our interaction! I carried his wave and smile with me all day as I assumed he would mine-or so I hoped. Then, it happened.

The first few days I didn’t see the man with a wave found me holding out hope that I’d see him the next.  More than once, I waved at the empty roadside corner, and peered down the dirt road hoping to see if he was coming along the way. This went on for weeks.

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I quickly looked down the road to see if the man was there as I drove past.

But, finally, I had to give up hope. His absence was a bitter loss. My heart found peace only when I promised myself never to forget the man with the wave, and how his smile and raised hand had meant so much to me. I also promised to write his story.

So, now you know.

I'll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

I’ll never know how his life went, only what he gave to me in passing.

Every day around this time of year I remember the man with a wave. I smile to a stranger and raise my hand to say hello as I pass them by. I owe that to the mysterious man who gave me his wave. Plus, it’s fun to see people’s faces light up when I greet them for no apparent reason. Of course, secretly, I hope that they, too, will never forget.

Happy Holidays. Peace.

Franque23.

here are the links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.
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