As a season’s pass holder to the Butchart Gardens I’ve been enjoying the wonderful concerts held there every evening from July through to Labour Day. We’ve seen all sorts of entertainment on stage, Celtic bands, folk band, the Victoria Symphony, ballet and bluegrass. In addition to the acts on stage, it’s a great place for people, and dog, watching. Mostly, I delight in the children running and dancing on the great expanse of lawn. Rhythm and dance seems to be build into humans and the children revel in the chance to express that. The night we went to the ballet, there were any number of little girls wearing tutus and glittery headbands adding their beauty to the acts on stage.
I don’t know if the dogs enjoy their cultural opportunities, but they usually sit quietly, glad to spend time with their owners. Last night there was a dog with great timing, he barked right on the beat.
But the off stage byplay I witnessed that most warmed my heart was an elderly couple who shuffled into the concert area just as the band started up. He sat on a bench and she set up a lawn chair beside him. She took great care to be sure he had a cushion to sit on, a vest to wear and a blanket over his knees. About twenty minutes into the concert he got up and left. He wasn’t very spry, but walked with a short step and a shuffling gait. The concert continued and I forgot about him until half an hour later when he came back, this time carrying a cup of coffee for his wife. The little aside to the concert brought a smile to my face. A true love story, I thought. Not the first blush of passion we look for in a romance novel with all its angst and longing and soaring joy, but a love story in real life. This couple no longer turned heads with their good looks. They wouldn’t win a prize for fashion. Time had diminished their strength, bowed their backs and turned their hair to grey, but their love for each other remained, secure, dependable and forever. That’s a real life love story.