Fiction

That Time of the Year

That time of the year was approaching; that time ‘The Romantics’ describe as melancholy; that time when they hope that spring would not be far behind; the time that is supposed to be dry and dead. She wondered why she could never agree to it. As much as she would recite with utmost passion – “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” – in an almost baritone or rejoice at Wordsworth’s bliss as a host of golden daffodils flashes upon his inward eye, her love, as deep as it was, could not free itself of a slight disapprobation.

She strolled along the curved path, strewn with dry leaves. A myriad hues of orange, red, ochre yellow mingling so beautifully as if that is exactly how they were meant to exist – hand in hand – walking together like the dearest of friends, or better still, like family, she thought. It was a lazy Saturday afternoon. She perhaps even hummed a tune or two – Nelson Eddy or Ella Fitzgerald? Or, maybe The Carpenters! She settled on John Denver;

“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy…..la la la…….hmmm….hmmm…sunshine on the waters looks so lovely…..la la la la la…..hmm..hmm..hmm….”

Children played in the park and old couples walked, slowly, steadily, their wrinkles never for a moment fraying their indomitable spirit and tender love; some others sat reading by the lake. She observed them all – a Jane Eyre, there, sitting under the chestnut tree, brimming with wisdom and foresight; there swiftly walking down that lane, an exuberant Elizabeth Bennet read and re-read a creased parchment by her Darcy, perhaps. And, over there on that bench, a boy threw pebbles into the lake, all the while observing the ripples ever so carefully, the faint plopping sound bringing a smile to his lips. Ripples, those beautifully synchronized concentric patterns in water – if music could be seen, it would probably look like that.

She strolled further along, amusing herself with the crackling of dry leaves under her feet. Suddenly, her gaze settled on a bare tree. The trunk held out its naked branches that glowed in the afternoon sun. Was it the season of fall, when trees shed their leaves, or was it the season of hope when they would let go of all things old and await a fresh start? She perched herself on a rock underneath the beautiful tree and smiled. Resting her head on the tree trunk, she closed her eyes and as her senses drifted away from a dream like world to a world of dreams, she thought she heard someone strum the guitar; Simon and Garfunkel; she hummed along a line or two;

“I threw a pebble in a brook

And watched the ripples run away

And they never made a sound

And the leaves that are green turned to brown,

And they wither with the wind

And they crumble in your hand”

La la la la la….hmm…hmmmm…..hmmmmm…..

And then, she felt a soft white flake on her nose. Looking up, she saw the tree glistening in the crystal moonlight, her arms laden in snow, looking just like a gorgeous young bride. This is perhaps what Cynthia must have looked like, she thought. This is perhaps how Endymion fell in love!