Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)
TITLE: Fleeting Days
By Loren T. Lowery
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Birds first, chirping sentinels of breaking day. Then comes light – gold and sharp, cutting the fat of night’s shadows. Day, nubile, waits the sculpting blade.
Birds flit two and fro, night’s mist wetting their tongues to greet the day on branches of towering trees draped in tattered shadows.
The sun, birth red, turns the landscape from gray to coral; and light refined in its own belly, turns gold to make darkened windows burst brilliant and awaken those asleep inside.
Curtains are pulled back; creatures of the night are vanquished, carried away by the trill of birds winging in the brightening sky, vigilant harbingers of hope flitting within the shadows of towering tress.
With blue iridescence, dragon flies streak over wet lawns to blend with the darting dance of butterflies that bear rainbows upon their wings. Their movements a silent ballet of wonderment tethered to light - teasing it to follow.
And then it is noon:
The hue of the day changes – a subtle nudge. Revolving earth, rising sun, ticking clock the day moves forward. Time, a gatherer of beauty - pristine beauty collected and saved for mounting in tomorrow’s memory.
Porches and stoops become half bathed in light, their full sanctuary of cool shadows yet hours away as the sun treks westward over proud eaves. Honey Suckle dampens the air and large bumble bees delight themselves by swimming in its sticky perfume.
Gentle gossip, gleeful laughter, the drone and putter of ambling efforts – sweet music of the afternoon floats effortlessly in the air like dandelion puffs over a summer meadow. Clouds billow like fluttering curtains at opened windows.
Beauty peaks before the pluck. Nature holds her breath, but nothing can forbear the shortening of the shadows that have begun their backward track. Day stands at the apex of its age. Muscled, no longer young, day plows forward over fertile fields, tilling behind itself deep burrows to lay at last its own growing shadows at dusk.
And then it is evening:
A hymn of death stirs the soul – darkness looms. Mortal hands unable to stop the knitter’s weave of his commissioned shroud. Hurried steps backward, clutched fingers on fading light avails naught to keep him distant from night’s approach.
Day cries out, the warble of a swan gasping her last – its beauty beyond understanding, its choral a haunting comfort. In quiet contemplation, man considers the fleeting of his days. Alone, he drinks the mulled essence of gratitude and regret. He listens; he looks for signs of life within the coming darkness to guide him.
Finished, light lays down her sculpting blade.
And then it is night:
Darkness is rent by a Greater Light far beyond man’s merit or vast imaginings. He steps forward into the arms of his Creator, his Father and is surprised by unspeakable joy.
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