Story: the steps

Twenty more.
She counted as her eyes gazed upwards, her body quivering.
She raised the tattered umbrella and meticulously positioned it on the raised platform ahead.

Thirty six. A man in blue flannel shirt and jeans tugged at his iPod as he swerved around her and continued with a rolling gait.
Thirty seven. The lady in a tank top and capri pants dug into her branded bag, oblivious to the surroundings, casually walked by.
Thirty eight. A teenage girl squinted at the sun and pulled out her fashionable sunglasses, only to rest them on her hair.
Thirty nine. Another young man with his baseball cap pulled over his eyes, so common and forgettable, shared the ghost of a frown and avoided her.

Her frail body with seventy-five years of age leaned to the left, seeking support from the rusty handrail as she mustered all the strength in her right arm to place the make-shift walking stick – the umbrella – on the next step. With much effort, she lifted her foot.
Nineteen more.

Almost forty people had walked by as she tried to take one more step. It was a long way up the bridge. There will be another two flights downwards when she reaches the other end. Each action seemed to take so much longer as she aged – the days seemed to have gotten shorter…
I saw an old lady climbing the stairs of a bridge with much effort. While the rest of the world zipped by, giving space for her advancement, many avoided her and hurried along to their destinations. I wonder how little attention we’ve paid to the world around us. As we get older we’ll realise too, that everything takes a little longer and becomes a little harder. Share a thought for the needs of elderly friends & family – it only takes a minute. 


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