Late Summer.

by Tracey Curzon-Manners

The child played with her Mother all afternoon in the woods. They chased each other into patches of dappled sunlight and twirled around and around until their skirts took flight. Above them, the southern wind rippled through the trees urging them to lean towards one another and whisper their long kept secrets.

Later, as the light began to change, they collapsed beneath the leafy canopy laughing and rolling in the newly fallen carpet. There wasn't much time left. The Mother knew this but refused to submit until the very last moment. Laying there, she touched her own face and felt her youth disappear in the blink of an eye. By her side, her daughter had become a woman in just one short afternoon, or had it been a lifetime ?

Eventually, they pulled each other up, dusted themselves down and strolled hand in hand to the edge of the wood. The countryside displayed it's majesty as a cloak of tarnished gold inviting them to become part of the procession. On the horizon, the sun descended like a king at court, blinding the onlooker by the intensity of his beam. In the distance, water shimmering with diamonds, flowed towards another life.

The child felt the tug of the wind and without thinking or looking back began to run into the dazzling light. Faster and faster she ran leaping over hills and rivers with the lightest touch of her feet. Her hair streamed in the wind and the sun bowed down to her daring spirit.

Behind her, frail but proud, a small figure watched as she ran out of sight.