Light shined, and the world revolved perfectly. All seemed to be in its rightful place. A breeze drifted by, playfully picking up spray from a brook. It lifted drops off of the brilliant blue surface. The water, swift and clear, carved grooves in its muddy banks. A soothing warmth beamed down from sun, and encouraged an easy repose. Grass responded, growing at its greenest beneath trees that reached out with strong, unwavering boughs. Everything was radiant and alive. On one branch, a titmouse sang; the world seemed brighter for it.
Light gleamed, though shadows darkened. Elms and oaks bent in submission to a howling, restless wind. It swept through, lifting water up in sheets from a nearby river. Careless and confused, the current surged on in chase of a destination ever far and out of sight. In a bordering field, weeds grew in with grass, replacing flowers. Tall trees stood strong, while brambles curled about their trunks. A titmouse sang, the sound clear despite the relentless wind. Nature was heartened, and journeyed on.
Light shone out through a thick haze, tiring in its resistance against the gloom. Wet on wet, a steady downpour beat upon the surface of a stream. Unclear of where it headed, the waters simply moved of habit. Old mudbanks loomed far above what had become a steady trickle. The gale surged on, air thick with frigid water. It was impossible to tell which water was of the creek and which was of the sky. It made no difference anyhow. The icy blasts continued their barrage, leaving grass and weeds flattened as one. All remaining flowers died, too delicate for such a strain. The last and strongest branches cracked on trees with sturdy trunks. With tones of hope and determination, a titmouse spun a tune above the din. From this, creation took great strength, and still endured.
Darkness seeped into the cracks, sensing victory at hand. Air spiraled in a wind of biting cold, with no restraint. Where water had once rushed, snow and ice battered down on an empty channel. Weeds had choked out all the grass. Hollow pillars, once having reached for the sky, stood creaking, simply there. A voice called out; a single, lonely, beautiful note that wavered on the wind. It waned, and began to crack.
The call was gone, and the last of the light let go.
By Sophia Anne Charles
Sophia Anne Charles is a talented, emerging writer of nature-oriented poetry and thoughtful, short fiction. Her focus is the intersection of nature, the human spirit and life’s often-lost simple observations. She resides in Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
Photo of Tufted Titmouse by Brian Lasenby