Seasons of Remembrance

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My reverie is interrupted.

I open my eyes to the sound of someone humming “You Are My Sunshine”. I smile as the memory of that song flickers like a flame inside my skull, the last embers struggling to stay alight. Frank loved that song when he was a boy.  As I open my eyes, the girl who is humming gives me a big smile, like we have shared a secret. I study her upturned nose. I peer at her heart-shaped face. Her features are familiar in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. She kisses me on the forehead, dons her raincoat, and prepares to leave.

Later in the afternoon – or perhaps an entire day has passed – the sun comes out and warms my room. Seasons blur, but the glow of the sun and the colored paper leaves adorning the walls remind me of fall.

I have always enjoyed fall. Bright leaves keep a tenuous hold on scantily clad branches, and then release in their slow dance towards the waiting ground. The air holds a crisp promise of frosty mornings to come. Flocks of birds, vocal and energetic in their preparations for a long journey, gather in the fields.

In the fall of life, so they say, you can look back with pride on a life well lived. That may be true, but it seems to me that fall can also leave you feeling empty inside – left to wonder where the summer has gone.

I am lying on a soft woolen blanket, under the big maple tree that grows directly outside my window. My wheelchair is close by, but I am unconcerned about the fact that it is there, and I am here. There is no nurse to ask about my pain level, or tell me to take my medication, or convince me to go back to bed. I stretch out luxuriously, limbs moving in ways that have become unfamiliar. No pain, no resistance – just the release of muscles that have been cramped and stagnant for far too long.

The sun’s weak rays caress my cheeks, and I imagine that I am being wrapped in a golden glow. Leaves spiral down, the colorful confetti gently coming to rest on my outstretched body. I feel like nature is throwing a party, and I am the honored guest.

In the distance, I hear the Canada geese calling, telling the others that it is time to come home.

And I smile, and sigh, and open my eyes wide in anticipation.


Seasons of Remembrance

Julie is an author and sheep wrangler residing in Alberta, Canada. When she’s not at her keyboard, you might find her cuddling lambs or hiding under a mound of laundry created by her husband and three children.
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