A Sliver of Summer in the Winter

Published by Erica on

Syndey hugged herself against the chilly March breeze, gazing out over the frozen lake nestle amongst the mountains. She inwardly reprimanded herself for being rebellious to the weather and wearing flip flops… not the best type of footwear for mountains and wandering. What is it like to walk on a frozen lake?? She shrugged, mentally noting that she needed to come back and try that experience with appropriate shoes.

Taking a tenuous seat on an obliging fallen tree, she inhaled the stiff mountain air and reflected on life. What a conglomeration of experiences it had been thus far! She never imagined that her journey would have led to this current moment, a moment filled with excitement for the future, yet unsettling doubt as well. In a leafless tree near her, a beautiful bird whistled a simple tune. He bravely opposed the winter, though his musical whimsy seemed far more effective than her silly shoe rebellion. She watched his movements for several minutes, enjoying his hopping and whistling in the tree as he filled his world with a warm sunshine yet lacking from the day.

What a world of memories that bird opened for Sydney as she contemplated her situation! He seemed to have known her forever, the way he cocked his pert head as he whistled; he accepted her fully for the imperfect and faulty human she was.

“Bird, do you know me? I think you do. You were there last time, months ago, when I couldn’t find the strength to go on anymore. Circumstances made no sense and I felt like I had been hidden in an avalanche of cold, unfeeling snow. Somehow your song reached me and threw a sliver of summer hope into my desolate winter. How do you do it?

I think you were there again, in the days of my youth when life was a perpetual spring, overflowing with possibilities and novel adventures. You shared my joys and whistled resplendent songs to match my fearless moods. What fun times those were together!

Near and far, I think you’ve always been watching my way. Oh my bird, if only I could make you as happy as you’ve made me! I have no special song to brighten your day, the way you brighten mine. I can only try and hope that somehow I’ve shared something with you.”

A closing car door abruptly interrupted Sydney’s thoughts, and she smiled to herself. She glanced towards the tree. With a bob of his head, the bird flew away, towards the frosty mountainside. She stood up and began walking, a hint of warm air on the breeze now.

So we had a work conference this last week that focused on personal enrichment and seeking after good gifts. One of the sessions I attended was about Simple Gifts, and another was about finding stories in our lives. This little fiction piece is a study in a simple gift in life. It is amazing how many small, simple gifts in our lives affect us and change us.

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1 Comment

Chad · March 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

You are a colorful writer!

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