I enter what looks like a poster. It's much too beautiful a scene to be
real. No, it's the kind of thing you find on a wall in a waiting room with
a biblical quote across the top or an inspirational phrase. But it's more
than that. I can hear it, feel it, touch it, smell it, live it. This is no poster.
An artist couldn't have created a more generous pallet of colors. Oranges,
reds, and yellows blend from deep greens and come to contrast the sky which
is the deepest color of blue I've ever seen. And the sun brightens them
all, creating shadows that offer other shades of this amazing spectrum.
A breeze ruffles the scene. Leaves giggle at the wind's tickle. With the
air comes a fragrance cleaner than anything I've ever smelled before. It's
sweet as flowers but spicier and with an undertone of Earth. I close my
eyes and experience it fully, filling my lungs with it's cool caress. I almost feel
as though I can follow it, upwards to dance among the clouds.
But I don't want to - it's perfect right where I am.
Each of our steps produces a playful crunch that echoes around the acorn
and leaf littered path. An occasional branch snaps or tree moans. Before
me, three blond heads bop along, their little legs full of enthusiasm, for
the day, for life. They hurry onwards and I silently beg them not to be in
such a rush. The future will come much too soon. The angelic music of
their laughter carries through the trees to reach me almost from every
direction. Sometimes, on days like these, I look at them and am awed by
the reality of their existence. To think, I created those lives and such
beauty. But what else could love produce?
It's pleasantly chilly and we hike along at a good pace. Beneath my sweater,
my heart thumps steadily. I reach down to touch the muscles flexing in my
thigh which makes me feel at one with my body, with my strength. Some
people need to lie still to find peace - I need to move, to produce that
oxygen high that lifts my face into an unexpected smile.
Although I'm in no hurry to get home, I take pleasure in imagining the sensation
of the warm house, the soup bubbling on the stove and the fragrance of fresh bread
that the rooms have absorbed all morning.
I can already taste that sip of Bordeaux, the complicated flavors filling my
mouth. I have so much to be thankful for. Only on days like these do I
take time to realize just how much.
A brief thought occurs to me. Somewhere someone is dying, someone is crying over their loss.
Soldiers are fighting and I wince at the reality of that.
Imagine, I think, what life would be like without these Sundays,
without the glee in the faces of my children who delight in the simplicity of their existence.
I pray for endless days like these.
Everyone on Earth has a right to them.
Bio: Rebecca Marshall-Courtois left Westchester, New York behind when she fell
in love with her French boss twelve years ago. She now lives in
Buxerolles, the French equivalent of modern suburbia. Mother of three
daughters, she works as an English teacher and freelance translator and is
completing her postgraduate studies in literature. Although she is a
beginner to the field of writing, she has had some of her poetry published
and one of her short stories will be published in the April issue of Love
Words. You can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org