Setting, a Christmas tale #writephoto

Setting

silhouette

 

It was the time in the evening, when, wherever I may be, whatever the season, I love to wander: when Sol prepares to set, that is when our small globe turns his face away from the star. This was perfect. When you reach my age, a clear sky at dusk, a small cloud lit by the dying rays of the sun, those clichés suffice to make one happy, at peace.

The megaliths stood silent in darkness. I was close to one and started walking slowly around it. Bless this world, I thought, men have walked this ground for tens of millennia, already, four thousand years back, they knew much about Sol, the stars, Space, and the Moon… A tall shape was facing me, but I could not decipher if it was human or… With my stature I am rarely surprised, and most potential aggressors are deterred, but it was human, or, of human shape; as he turned his head toward me, pushing back his hood, I saw a young man, so much like many others, long hair and a short beard, a beautiful, luminous face. He smiled – oh that smile… – and talked. I thought I recognised the smile, I had seen it so often, on those ancient paintings, but I was disconcerted by the tongue he used. At first I could not understand, but I knew. The young man smiled again, walking slowly away, back to the shadows. I knew: it was Aramaic, and then I understood, the words of reassurance, the angel’s smile. His hand was on my shoulder, so strong, so warm, He wished me a happy Sabbath, I was drinking His words.

When you reach my age, you may expect miracles, but mostly, they don’t happen. I fell on my knees, words failing me, He laughed, and glided away. Petrified, I kissed the ground where He’d had His bare feet a second earlier…

“Are you alright Sir?” The young ranger was shaking my shoulder. I had not moved, and it was now pitch dark. “These hills can be dangerous at night, Sir”, said the ranger, who probably meant to add “for an old man like you…” I stood up, thanked him. “No worries, I have a wise guardian angel!” I said smiling, picked up my bag, and started walking toward the hills.

His smile was lighting my path.

Our hidden secret #writephoto

Hidden

p1300846

 

The small stream is known to local children, and to the occasional wanderers. For us, I know, it has meaning, one of the places where our spirits shall meet, and remember the past. We once ran over those rocks, splashing each other, in the bright light of Spring. Then, we were happy, we were young, and little did we know about the fate that awaited us. I recall your blond hair, flying in the wind, your little blue dress, your bare feet that seemed to fly over the water.

I remember the day I left, for those far away shores, I remember the sand in the desert, death at every step. I – or rather the poor ghost I became – remember the day I died, alone in a narrow street, in a faraway alien city. I remember not finding you, anywhere, until I visited the small churchyard, not too far from our stream. And now, every Spring, I come here and wait for you. I have time, I have all eternity. I know you will not remain hidden forever.

Dedicated to those who left, and never came back.

By the riverside #writephoto

Calm

autumn-018-2

 

We walk hand in hand in the peace of the morning. The river flows and reminds us of times past. We haven’t forgotten, but we have forgiven. For us, forgiveness has long been our way to give thanks. After all, the monsters are dead and we are alive, at least alive enough to admire the blue sky reflected in the calm water.

Glimmer #writephoto

Glimmer

distant-lights

 

“Beyond those hills is our home”, he said softly to her ear, as they looked down the valley, toward the estuary. There the town was cradled, a thin glimmer of light against the darkness.

She shivered a little, but not from cold. She thought again of the place, the wild garden, the old walls. No-one had been there for ages. She could already hear the front door creak. Who would notice their return?

“I will look on as you fall asleep, I will wait for as long as it takes.” His voice so low only her could hear his words. She smiled, of course he will look after her, as he had done for all those years, as they roamed the world, away, so far away from home.

“We haven’t been near humans for a while…” she said, as she leaned against him.

“I know,” he replied softly, “we just hear them, they ignore us and will continue to ignore us. For them we are a flutter of fine dust, a tiny vortex in the air…”

Fall #writephoto

Fall

fall-sue-vincent

 

We listen to the crystal melody of the waterfall. Sun rays bounce off the glistening rocks. Is this a dream, or are we there? There, in the valley we cherish, where, in the sharp, icy air of dawn, our young souls met, one Spring.

It’s not a dream, but it is only a picture. So, my dearest love, we have to wait, for our ghostly shadows to find a way back, there, near the waterfall.

Turning #writephoto

Turning

hills

 

Yesterday… We walked in this valley, under the burning sun, hand in hand, believing in the eternal summer. Yesterday, perhaps, more than you, my love, I longed for Autumn, and the fall of leaves. Did I believe Time had stopped? Did I believe Earth was flat, after all?

Or was I inebriated, drunk in our love?

But now, Winter has come, silent, ineluctable: the hills are white with snow, our shoes leave no trace on the frozen ground. Nature has taken back what is hers, the air is cold, yesterday’s azure sky is now deep grey.

The light is out.

Watcher #writephoto

Watcher

waiting

 

The moor already wears its autumn veil, and, soon, we will be home. I know what you will say, when we walk up the hill, towards the place we have chosen for our retreat.

“Look! He’s waiting for us, he’s there, can you see him?”

But I know that only you can see him, that he ever appears only for you, through the ancient mist of long gone times.

For you are his beloved, the one he lost, when the Earth was young, and I, poor mortal, was but dust in a distant star.

And, as always, I will say:

“Yes, I can see him, bless our guardian, the watcher over our fragile spirits…”

Crossing #writephoto

Crossing

crossing

 

The shallow, clear water runs lazily between the rocks,

and the little islands of green life.

Oft we crossed the old bridge,

On our many walks, through this blessed land,

Observing, and being observed,

by creatures far more ancient, and wiser, than us.

Oft, we looked at our reflections in the mirror below.

Only, now, we only see the light of the sky,

for our images have been erased.

 

writephoto

Wave #writephoto

Wave

sea-mist

 

The free fall was the same, every night. There was the sheer terror of destruction, of being shredded on the sharp rocks, so far down, down… But he knew that this was a dream: as dawn came, he would see the light, inhale the scent of the ocean, for there was no fall, and the shore he remembered well: the sound of waves, her smile, their fading steps in the wet sand…

Then the nurse would come, and asked him how he had slept. As ever, he would smile and reply: “I was again on the beach”.

Beginnings #writephoto

Beginnings

dawn

 

He knew where they had met, but he was less certain of when that was. He remembered the small town, and the woods, above all the woods, where they walked, kissed, watched the sun rise, the freezing dawns, enlaced, forever at one, with each other, and with the trees.

She was the one, and those were their beginnings. They watched the sun set, the skies on fire. Her grey eyes reflected the light. He had felt so strong then. He was, so they called him. She watched him go, such a breakup in her heart…

Now, after all the death, the sand, the blood, he was back. Alone, at the end, a fallen hero.