I used to hide in a copse of willows just up the hill and watch. Their wings glittered as they caught the late afternoon sun. They’d swoop and dance just above the water near the bend in the creek.
I used to pretend, you know, as the warm August sun caressed their faces, that I was with them; singing and flying and laughing as they chased dragonflies above the sparkling water.
That was nearly 70 years ago. I hardly recognize the creek today. My willows are gone. It’s a bare spot now, though covered with the crisp yellow-brown leaves of October.
The water is barely a trickle. Waning daylight barely touches it.
Oh, wait. There. Out of the corner of my eye near the bank I see one, no two, more now. They are here. Oh, if I could just …what did you say? I’m sorry. My old ears. I can hardly hear you.
My eyes are heavy and I’m so tired, but I want to keep watching. And now I’m so light. So airy. And what’s that rushing sound?
I’m swooping and swirling and diving above the water at the bend. I’m smiling and I’m so happy. . . so happy.
They’re here, all around me, and they’re smiling too and they’re asking me something.
Why, yes. Yes. Thank you. I will dance with you today.