Thursday, 23 July 2015

Destination

Inspiration: Two pictures by my friend Sue Harris. She sent the tree to me yesterday, the old couple a few months earlier.



‘Are you ready? We’ve got to get going,’ the woman said, while checking her purse.
The man took up the small backpack and replied; ‘Relax, we’ve all the time in the world, no one is waiting for us.’

The woman was not sure about it, ever since the signs started to appear, she has been anxious. It started with little feathers on her pillow. Maybe the downy filling was getting out. The linens were getting old, just like she was. A few days later, a robin appeared in the garden. That was not really unusual, but this particular robin had been staring at her, like it invited her to come out. It had been a rainy day and she had decided to ignore the little bird. The next day, there were two of them and finally, after a week, when seven robins were staring at her from the garden, she decided that was enough. 

To be totally honest, the birds started to frighten her. She asked her husband to shoo them away. He friendly laughed about her fear, telling her she had too much imagination. But when she found her courage and walked into the garden, all the robins, except one, landed on top of her. One on her head, two on each shoulder and the last one somehow managed to grab hold of her hand. When it did, she was overwhelmed with a feeling of destiny and had totally forgotten her fear. She felt a calling in her head.

‘It’s time to go,’ she said to her husband, watching her from the doorstep. ‘Will you come with me?’ The old man hesitated, what did she mean?
‘I’ve this image in my head, we’ve got to go there. I've to go there, but I’d rather go there with you, do you trust me? Do you still love me?’
‘Of course I do. I promised you, I’ll never leave you, I’m here for you, always.’
He had no idea what he just agreed too, as was rather usual in their relationship. The minute he said it, the robins flew away.

A few days later the couple was walking in the park. It was a lovely day, warm and sunny. All of a sudden the robins were circling around their heads, one landing on the woman’s straw hat.
‘This is another sign,’ the woman said.
‘You mean, we have to follow them?’, the man said with a little sigh, stating the obvious. He lived with her long enough to understand her intentions.
His wife smiled at him, her eyes shining bright. ‘Yes, of course.’

That was the day they found the tree, standing in a neglected part of the park. An ancient hollow tree, with a rather large hole, reaching to the ground. The little robins disappeared in the gap. The man bent over to have a peek, but he couldn’t see anything inside. He raised his eyebrows, looking at his wife.
‘Not yet,’ she replied.

And now, all of a sudden, the old woman had decided it was time. They packed only a few essentials, all of sentimental value. Holding hands, the couple walked into the park, crossing the bridge marking the entrance. No robins were guiding them this time, they didn’t need them, they knew the way. In front of the tree the man hesitated, ‘How?’
His wife, still holding his hand, touched the tree. A strange feeling overwhelmed the man, who looked a bit frightened at his partner.
‘Do you trust me?’ she asked again.
‘I do, always have, always will.’ He closed his eyes and let her lead on. Suddenly he felt very small, they entered the tree.

‘Open your eyes!’
In front of him stood his wife, not the old woman, but the younger version, shining bright. She was smiling at him, with the enchanting smile she had when he first met her.
‘I brought you home,’ his wife said. ‘Forever.’ 

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