Reflections

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A single strand of mist wafts and winds through wet cedars...

Submitted: April 10, 2015

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Submitted: April 10, 2015

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A single strand of mist wafts and winds through wet cedars. It twists and turns its way between the trees, guided by a breeze or an unseen hand. The off white color of its nothingness passes silently in the early morning light. It glides, drifting among long green needles that drip and dangle from ancient pines.

The mist finds a pond. Drop by drop it dissolves back into the nothingness from which it arose.

The cold dark water below lies still.

It is glass. It is quiet. It is dawn.

Lily pads float as if frozen, their green hands open wide to the sky above. A family of ducks sleeps tucked back in the reeds, their bodies pressed close for heat against the early morning chill. A single white cloud is captured in a reflection just past the edge of muddy brown banks.

Branches shake at the edge of the pond, casting drops of dew like rain down into the stillness. Circles scatter from the drops, rolling out, merging, and drawing across the still face of the water. The cloud, which a moment before lay painted in perfection, now shimmers and passes on.

A man steps out from the bushes. He pauses at the edge of the pond. He takes a deep breath. Goosebumps rise on a body held together by tired bones- bones that bend his back like an old tree just before it pulls loose from the soil to crash to the ground.

With a parkinsonian tremor he reaches up, grasps the edge of steel rimmed glasses between the pad of his thumb and index finger, and unhooks them from his head.

Sunspots and lines decorate the creases and curves of his face- proof that he has learned, he has loved, but most of all, he has lived. He wipes his eyes with the back of his forearm, the tweed hunting jacket rough against the thin skin of his face. As he lowers his arm the glasses shake quietly in his hand.

He looks down at the water and sees his reflection. A breeze distorts it just so. For a moment he only sees an outline of himself, an outline that could have belonged to a ten year old boy, or a forty year old father, or a seventy year old widower. The breeze passes just as quickly as it started, the water stills, and he sees clearly.

He is a ninety six year old man.

The reflection of a young boy appears next to him on the surface of the pond. Still staring at his image the man reaches out a hand. Without a word the little boy at his side grasps on to the ancient, trembling fingers. The glasses stop shaking. The man feels the warmth of his great grandson’s hand in his.

The man smiles.

The boy speaks.

“But if father says you are leaving, where will I find you if I need you?” he asks in a hushed voice.

“Right here,” the old man says, “you will find me right here.”

 

www.philipallengreen.com 

©Philip Allen Green


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