The Finest Dawn

from ‘ Whispers on the Wind’ by John Strachan

It was the kind of morning that brought the slightest of shivers on the wind yet made the old woman want to kick off her shoes and splash about like a child in the dappled sea.

The sky blazed crimson above her head, tinting the white curls and all around her with its heavenly glory, but there was something different about this dawning, something felt deep inside but not yet known.

She was so sure no other morning had been like this, no dawning so beautiful, no beginning so tantalizingly full of promise. Suddenly she realised that the pains of old age too seemed absent. The arthritic joints and rheumatism she had suffered from for so many years appeared to be taking the morning off, for not even a twinge was felt as she strolled light footed along the sand.

From far away, yet clear on the morning air, she heard a voice call her name. Turning then she retraced her path along the beach, listening each time the well known voice called, trying in her mind to give a name to whoever wanted her. She climbed the cliff path without pause, without feeling in the least tired, and by the time she arrived at the top she’d recalled who owned the voice.

Turning she looked back over the beach, over the clean unmarked sands where oly moments before she had wandered. Facing around again, her eyes went to the little white rose-clad cottage and to the woman who stood by the gate.

” I didn’t realise,” she said, “there was no pain. I thought I would have known.”

” It happens,” her mother smiled. ” Folks often pass on without knowing they’ve left the body behind. That’s why I’ve come to fetch you.”

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