He arrived with a stream of sunlight, the scent of fields being harvested, and on the tail end of a sigh I’d breathed, because I was tired.
I’d been working hard, I was feeling the effects of a cold that’d jumped me the night before, and my own stupid solution—stopping by the neighbour’s for a nip of Jack before bed.
“Isn’t it a lovely day?” he said, and suddenly, I looked up, looked around and realized, it was.
His straw hat created dots of light upon his face, his smile warmed me instantly and caused me to forget that I felt worn and weary. Within minutes of our conversation—which quickly turned to castles and restored mansions, I felt surrounded by all things of beauty and hope.
I offered coffee and brought it to him outside, on our patio, where he seemed as much a part of nature and sunshine as the breeze itself. “Now, how did you end up here?” he asked, which led to a long discussion about the fact that I’d set out on an adventure.
We talked of journeys and of love and sorrow. We talked about things of loss and the great strength it takes to dare to live dangerously. We spoke of betrayal and hope, and the delicate balance of yearning and loss. He shared stories of death and the beauty that can come as the last tendrils of life fade out into the skies of loss. “You’ve learned,” he said, with great tenderness and compassion, “that on your life’s journey, you shall take joy by one hand, and sorrow by the other—they will be true companions on your adventures”.
And he was right.
We spoke of forgiveness and the gentle rebuilding of broken things. Of underdogs and the feeling of softening that comes when life bears down upon you. We discussed the amazing joy of being alive, and free, and freshly in love with life.
As we shared stories and sentiment, I was struck afresh by how very much it felt as if he knew me. Like, knew me, knew me and as if, somewhere in time or self, I knew him.
And whether or not you think I’m nuts (hey, you’ve read about my walrus-cry, my late-night encounters with an amourous hedgehog, how I pick up Jesus as he hitchhikes and all about that time a decaying cow got me out of a traffic ticket and you’re still here, so you’ve done it to yourself!), I’m telling you, I think he was an angel.
Another customer drove in, as we were sharing those moments in the Sunday sunshine, and so I went indoors to serve them. As I chatted with them about their days and plans, my Angel came inside again, and again, with him, a burst of sunshine. He stood by, smiling, as people wandered about their purchases, and then, when the store quieted and we found ourselves alone again, he took my hands in his and said, “I’ve come with a message for you,” and shared some very, very timely and heart-felt words with me.
I won’t share them here, because some things belong to me alone, but they were incredible words of hope. Words about changes I’ve recently made in my life, choices to carry on with my adventure in a new direction, and to add new locations to my map of the world. They were words that brought light and summer rain and loveliness to my soul. They were words that only could have come from someone who knew me.
I thanked him—for the message, for stepping into my life, for brightening my day and giving me something of great worth.
I asked him if I could take his picture and he gladly posed for me, his twinkling blue eyes amused by my desire to add him to my book of memories
We talked a while longer, about writing and journeys and adventures.
His kindness spread out over my day in fields of golden sunlight and flowers, leaving me with a landscape of tender joy.
When it came time for him to leave, I gave him a hug and smelled upon his shoulders the scent of sunlight, the scent of fields being harvested, and the tail end of the sigh I’d breathed earlier, because I was tired.
“We will meet again,” he promised, joy and certainty in his words.
I watched him leave, this stranger who spoke my language, knew my heart’s burdens and hopes.
I watched him leave, and smiled.
I’ve been smiling ever since.
© 2013 juliet dewal