Forcing himself to stand the old man begins shuffling toward the door. A steely burden of loneliness bends his posture. Stepping outside the bitter cold night wets his eyes; mingling with salty tears. Hands, tightly grasping nothing, plunge deep into pockets as he begins walking toward the wood line. Upon entering the blackness of the wood, darkness becomes a shroud severing sense of sight. Distant gurgling of water over rocks becomes the compass followed.
The man knows this place, coming here when the agony of loss is unbearable; as now. Finding the bank of the stream he sits down at its tiny shoreline and weeps. The sobbing is violent, bitter, long.
The tide of time ebbs. Standing, he looks at the stars through open canopy. Diamond lights cascade their distant warmth helping the breeze dry his face. He makes his way back to the house, walking with arms swinging easily.
“I’ll visit her grave early in the morning’ he murmurs, “bringing fresh flowers. Perhaps I’ll add a small shrub, with tiny berries to attract small birds; she so loved the little creatures”. He thought how they would walk through the wood, holding hands and laugh at the burbling sounds of the stream splashing over and around rocks in its bed. The stream, yes the stream performing its magic once again. A loud shrieking, followed by silence, startles the man. “Night creature” he thought. But in the secret darkness it had been the stream itself releasing its newly acquired pain into the cold night.