On exiting the stage in red shoes.

Today, I experienced one of those surreal moments where time seems to stand still for just a little while, and everything inside you pays attention.

I saw a grizzled, old man.

Spine curved with age, he shuffled, unhurried, enjoying the early evening sun on his face.

As my gaze started to drift away, I noticed his shoes — they were red. The brightest red that I had ever seen. A celebration unto themselves.

They made my heart jump with joy. The sheer audacity of disregard for age, or convention, or what might be seemly enough for a man who has seen more than a few seasons.

As our eyes met — and it was just the briefest connection in time — I smiled at him. A gift, in exchange for this unexpected, wild delight of a man in the final act of his life, owning the sidewalk in his red shoes.

Oh, the beauty of this defiant act of joy.

— On exiting the stage in red shoes.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

It seems a good day to repost this story. Here’s to living our lives owning the sidewalk in defiant red-shoed joy,


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