Theresa, a book tucked under her arm, meandered around the old college campus. Although she was several years older than most of the students, it was one of her favorite places. The ivy-covered buildings, the picturesque setting by Miller’s Lake, the trees just beginning to take on the colors of fall; it all brought her such a feeling of peace.
She found an open bench and sat against the weathered wood, cracked open the book and inhaled deeply. It was the smell of knowledge. An e-reader could never compare to the sensory indulgence of curling up with a favorite book selected from the shelves of her local library. She often wondered about the lives of books themselves: the people who had read them before her; the places they might have seen, the untold history she could only imagine. Today’s choice was a biography of Helen Keller, an incredible woman by anyone’s standards. She began to savor the words, soaking up the knowledge, losing herself in a different place and time.
“May I join you?”
Startled, she looked up into the eyes of a white-haired man, leaning on a cane, carrying a book of his own. A kindred spirit.
“Of course,” she smiled, pushing over to make room. He slowly lowered himself onto the seat, leaned his cane against the side of the bench, and opened his own book.
They sat side by side, two solitary souls, sharing a moment of perfect bliss.