Nature Short Story #7 – Equinox

She waits, drained of life, lying on her back in the rich earth, stretched out, head cradled in her arms. Above her, the sky is dark blue and full of tiny white lights. Mesmerized by the living strobes in the sky, she watches. The way the world has been for the past six months is about to change. It is her redemption.

Almost imperceptably, the dark blue of the sky is not quite so dark. A few stars twinkle out. The horizon lightens. She sits up, anticipating. The dark world around her is taking shape. Hills are rising, trees are branching out. Birds are beginning to call. Something is coming.

The horizon lightens even more, outlining the peaks and valleys, the rolls and folds of the earth. She gathers every ounce of her strength and flips over, crouching on all fours, eyes directed to the east. It is almost here.

A lone crow beats its wings in full flight in the brightening sky. A chorus of bird tweets and chirps begins. More stars disappear into the deep turquoise sky. A cloud hovers over the mountain, and as she watches it morphs into a whale, swimming across the sky, turning from gray to pink and then to white in five minutes time.

A halo of light begins to rise in the east, over the slit of valley between the mounds of earth and rock. Her heart beats faster, and the heavy shadow on her shoulders begins to lighten.

She has waited for this day for six long months. The darkness descended so rapidly after that day, the light losing minute after minute for day after day until the world seemed deeply black and still for far too long. Blessedly, this day, when the process is reversed, brings hope.

This day brings new life just as the sun brings light and warmth and  possibilities. She pulls in a breath, watching as a small sliver of gold appears in the valley between the hills. It swells, and swells until it fills the valley, until the sun has washed away the blackness of the night until only the morning star still twinkles high overhead. Then, even that star is gone, and the day is fully begun.

From this day forward, for six months, more than half the hours of the day are filled with light. Life-bringing light. She resolves to soak it up, to fill herself with light and life until her skin plumps and seems ready to burst open. Already, she feels the energy filling her up. The leaves are unfolding, the flowers are blooming, the grass is emerging from the soil.

She rises, lifts her arms, closes her eyes, and dissipates into the morning light.

Spring is born.

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