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Bob and Gloria both sensed it was time to uproot, as difficult as it might seem to move away. Their children had been born here; this was truly “home.” They knew every nook and cranny of the beautifully landscaped neighborhood, and every neighbor knew and adored them. Their ties to the area were no less than intimate. But it was late autumn, and with summer’s warm glow a thing of the past, their needs seemed paramount.
“We must move to a warmer climate,” Bob explained. “This just won’t work any longer. You know it and I know it.” He shook his head. “It has already snowed once, and that horrible ice is just around the corner. You know how much I hate walking on ice,” he added with an involuntary shiver.
Gloria was beautiful and sensitive with delicately chiseled facial features. She gracefully turned toward him as if with honor and respect – then faced him squarely. “Bob, I know how much you hate the ice. I agree. Could we find a place where we might even enjoy picnics in the winter?” She paused momentarily to reflect, as if remembering something critical. Then she added, with her own characteristic twinkle, “You know how much I love outdoor dining and picnic food!”
Their children, intent on babbling, seemed distracted by their own banter. Bob and Gloria walked to a more secluded spot in the yard.
“Where do you think we should go?” Gloria asked, quietly. “What is your preference – what does this new dream location look like? You’re the husband – what is your vision for us?”
Bob paced the lawn with his head down, thinking. What could he say to comfort her and fill her need for security at this moment? How could he be ‘the man’ she needed him to be? “I’m thinking – south – just far enough to get away from ice - maybe a secluded spot along a river somewhere? How does that sound to you?”
Gloria stood and gazed across the yard, thoughtfully considering his words. “A river – yes – I like that! Lovely! Moderate temperatures - comfortable enough for outings - now, how should we go about finding such a spot?”
He knew the answer. It was not a simple thing, to pull up roots and move, but they had done it many times before. “Just follow me, Gloria.” The words came out confidently, as from one who has no doubt. And then, more earnestly, “You know I won’t steer you wrong!”
Once the decision was made, it seemed there was no reason to wait. A cold blast of wind sent them scurrying to the other side of a bush for shelter.
“When can you be ready?” Bob asked.
“Oh, soon…just give me a chance to talk this over with the kids,” Gloria replied. “It won’t take long. Just a few minutes…”
He watched her approach their children - the three who had grown up so quickly. They were almost young adults, now. There they were, busily talking and teasing each other on the other side of the yard. “Thank goodness she will be the one to break the news,” he thought. He was glad to defer to her in matters like this; she seemed to be the one gifted in communication, not him!
As he watched them all from a distance, he could not help but fall prey to nostalgic remembrances. This had been such a good home; a great place to raise a family. They loved it here in the midst of such beautiful surroundings. But as time passes, it is a fact of life that priorities often change. And now he knew it was time to move on to a place that would better suit their needs during this next season of life.
Soon, all eyes were upon him as Gloria and the children stared across the lawn in silence. “They’re ok with the decision,” she said. “It’s fine. They know what they have to do. Let’s go.”
And so, they looked the south wind in the face and began to walk-run across the grass. With a great rush and rustling of wings and not a single possession or piece of luggage in tow, this wild swan couple soared above the open water of the lake toward the unknown. They rushed into the sky, eager to begin their migration south for the winter, knowing that their Creator would care for their needs, as well as those of their now orphaned children.
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I knew a swan story was commin! ;) Beautiful Beth - enjoyed reading this.