Two hands, folded together. One of them weathered and hard, bark after many winters. The other soft and lovely, feathers from a pillow. Two hands together.

As still as statues they sat upon the porch, watching the leaves of fall drift down from a grey sky. The wind gently played with her frayed white hair, and Jack Frost gently nipped at their noses, but still they sat together, hand in hand, waiting.

The years stretched out behind them like a sargasso expanse, each wave bearing under the surface years of labor and love. Their youthful exuberance had long since passed, their middle ages gone with the wind as well, but still they sat together on the old oak porch swing, hand in hand.

They gently rocked back and forth together to a tune they had both long since forgot, a whispering from ages long past delivered by a soft gust. Their eyes, soft and yellowed with age, looked on together across the expanse of grass.

They had been sitting here for countless hours, together in an embrace of hands. Their bodies too weary for activity, their minds, hearts, and souls resting together. They sat together and waited, their hands linked as they had been so many times before.

Suddenly, the faintest of sounds could be heard above the whistling winds. The sound of singing voices tinkling softly, and of laughter. Their hands gave one another a quick squeeze as they leaned forward in anticipation.

Slowly across the yard they came, a line of laughing, bright eyed faeries of youth. From the porch, four eyes watched over the cavalcade of youth, watching as their parents walked along behind, and their eyes twinkled, proud of something they had spent many years accomplishing. Suddenly, one of the children looked toward the house and let out a soft yelp of joyous surprise, and they began to run toward the porch, quickly ascending the stairs, rushing towards the ones that they loved.

The two hands, one soft and one hard, gave each other a final squeeze, and then their arms extended toward the children as they came close. Their bodies, hearts, and eyes came alive with joy once again, and they swept the children into their arms, showering them with hugs and kisses.

And as the youngest crawled up onto her lap, the child's eyes shining with youth, she glanced over at her love sitting beside her, and he looked back.

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