Monday, 2 June 2014

They go to the wind

She sat in the cool grass of a beautifully manicured lawn, resting her back against the trunk of a tree which, these days, seemed to be the only thing thicker than her own midriff.

Sighing, she tilted her head back and gazed at the canopy of leaves above her. From her vantage point the leaves were yellowy and the light filtered through in scattered patterns. She frowned and turned away; gazing across the lawn to a flowerbed. A bird clung to a fine upright branch, performing acrobatic feats to nibble on the insects infesting the bush to one side of him.

Here, she felt she was alone. The tree to her back cut out half of the world and in front of her various plant beds featured large bushes which effectively cut out the world ahead of her. Discontented with her lot she frowned out into the garden; disapproving of the flora and fauna alike.

As she sat alone, her negativity graduated into genuine sorrow. The last time she had been here had been as a child; between 8 and 10 years old, she had walked here with her father and he had pointed out that the tree she was currently sat beneath was covered in cherry blossom. He'd talked about how the cherries would follow the flowers later in the year, how things change and grow and are endlessly renewed.

Two years ago he had died. An unsuspected high blood pressure had caused a massive stroke from which he had never woken.

She had refused to think of him since. He had always promised her forever and she couldn't forgive him for reneging. Sitting in this place now, the loneliness and sorrow could no longer be suppressed. Her eyes began to burn and her throat tightened.

As her head drooped in a prelude to a storm of sobbing, she felt an unexpected caress on the side of her neck.

She brushed her hand over the exposed area and, slightly startled, turned to see what had caused it. A leaf fell from her shoulder. Sighing, she felt the moroseness returning to the fore but the wind picked up again and a light breeze enveloped her. It was warm and soft and felt briefly like it caught hold of her and did not want to let her go.

Wishful thinking, she told herself. and looked out into the garden once again. A brief ripple passed through the plants opposite her and, moments later, she felt another embrace from the wind. She watched the activity in the garden again - the bird clung and bobbed as it remained focussed on its dinner; the flower heads swung under the pressure of the breeze and the few loose leaves were only fractionally disturbed as the breeze was far too gentle to lift them.

Anticipating the next breeze, she reached out her hand to see if she could feel it. In her mind, she pictured the breeze slipping around her outstretched fingers. In reality thee was no physical sensation, but once again, when the breeze hit her face and neck, she felt the impact. This time she smiled as she nestled into the brief moment where the wind caught her in its embrace.

Now she was not alone. Now the wind was with her and within it she could hear the voice of her father telling her about renewal and rebirth. Nothing, he had told her, was ever truly destroyed. Now, alone in the garden thinking of him, she believed it. She found a measure of relief in this certainty she suddenly held: when her father was buried the priest had declared he was being returned to the earth and she had seen the 6 foot barrier of dirt laying between them. She believed she had lost him forever, but now she knew he was with her, wherever she went.

Her father was not laying in the cold earth; he had gone to the wind.


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