Saturday, December 24, 2011
23rd, 25th - Aaron Alford
He lay at peace in the grass, the warmth of his mother beside him. He closed his eyes and let the last, ruddy light of the day play upon his eyelids. The grass was cool, and the sun was warm. He had had his fill today, skipping until he could hardly stand, splashing himself silly in the stream, running himself dry in the endless meadow.
She had watched him at play all day, and her own heart sang with his. She put her mouth to his ear, and told him she loved him in a voice soft and tender.
He felt her voice at his ear, and he smiled inside, but he tried not to show it. He opened his eyes with a lazy squint to the sun in the west. It was crouching low behind the hills, and he felt something in his spirit humming in tune with those last red rays. That sun and that sky were up to something, and tonight that sun was setting with a secret. He heard it speak, its voice still and not unlike his mother’s.
The stars have a surprise for you tonight.
I know, he said, and laid his head on the cool earth.
The shepherd stood nearby, crook in hand, gazing at the same sun. He, too, felt the strange, quiet hum in his heart, thrumming in harmony with that setting sun. And he could almost hear it speak, but he turned his eyes to the sleeping lamb and its mother resting at his feet. He wondered what dreams they may be having, what thoughts were at play in their spirits. The air was different tonight, toying with the thought of a breeze, gusting gently with a whim. It seemed to invite such wistful thinking. He closed his eyes and let the air tug gently at his clothes, his hand gripped and resting on the crook that had belonged to his father. He couldn’t hear the sun the way the lamb at his feet could, but he also somehow knew. A secret was in the air, and that setting sun knew more than she was telling.