6:18 p.m. - 2002-05-17
Bill and Audrey
He must have been in his mid seventies when I first met him. His face was lean, hair full, a white-grey colour. His eyes always seemed to twinkle and have a far-away look, like he was taking in some private dream of forest, lake and peace, or, perhaps listening to the melody of a flute that only he could hear. Though my visits were not overly numerous, I loved him. His name was Bill...Bill Watts. Bill was gentle, yet there. He had a wide brimmed hat that he wore when he went outside the back of his little dark wood cottage. Bill sprinkled around the hat rim with small bird seed. Chick-a-dees and nuthatches would watch for the hat every morning and sit on his hat as he walked around his little stone garden. Bill used to be a french polisher, bringing up fine wooden furniture to its better than original lustre. Bill's wife Audry, always had a pot of soup on the woodstove in the little kitchen. She had a grating voice unlike Bills, but was also open and welcoming. They had two sons, Bill Jr. a minister who died of infantile paralysis many years ago but, still very much alive in Bill and Audry. Gord, was their younger son, a man who painted, fished and read about numerous things. Gord was married to my mother in her later years.
It was always a delight to visit the Watts at Pine Point, Lake Scugog. I miss them. The cottage stands empty today. As I looked through the window, the kitchen ceiling had fallen in. The roof is wavy from years of snow, ice and rain. Around back where Bill used to walk, the birds still chirp and sing. If I stay very still, I can almost see him come out the back door with his seeded brown hat on his head and a gentle smile on his kind face. Bill's voice was soft and quiet. His look always said, "Welcome".
As I get into my car once again to drive away, I'm filled with a thankfulness to have known Bill and Audry. They touched me deeply and their special gifts of moments shared are a cherished part of my memories. As I write this, I feel a strange peace come over me, perhaps their peace, their love. Thank you Bill and Audry.
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