That time around midnight
When the air hangs as cold and as still as death itself.
When the earth sleeps
And only the creatures of the night are out foraging for food.
That was the time
When I saw her.
I had popped out to empty the rubbish.
I had my eyes half screwed up and was hunched because of the cold.
I didn’t notice anyone there at first.
They always seem to come alive at that time of night.
Yet I caught a faint flicker,
A kind of glimmer in the darkness.
Assuming it was light escaping from my half open kitchen door,
I made my way around the side of the house to the bin.
As I came back to the garden I heard a faint sound,
A beating of wings,
Something, I don’t know, made me look up and walk towards the pond.
It was then,
Then I saw her.
She was sitting on the rockery beside the overgrown heather,
Unaware I was watching,
Staring, utterly enthralled at the snowdrops.
I think she had never seen anything so beautiful,
But then neither had I watching her.
I could hardly dare to breathe lest my breath should give my game away.
Her delicate silvery hand stretched out to tenderly pluck a bloom.
I was unsure whether to move forward or back or just stay there.
Then in that instant,
In that very instant she saw me.
A moment transfixed in time
Lasting an eternity;
Yet in reality a split of a second.
Her eyes pierced mine
And I felt her soul and mine beat as one.
And in that very moment I knew I would never ever see her again.
It was as if she realised then, that she shouldn’t have been here.
Shouldn’t have been seen.
She gave me one last haunting glance
And with a gentle beat of her translucent wings silently faded into another realm.
The air was colder
And stiller than ever before.
A dark void was all that was left.
I walked over to the pond,
There on the ground were the snowdrops,
Strewn as she had left them
In her haste to depart.
I bent over and gently picked them up,
Caressing them against my cheek as I walked back to the house.
A lone tear dropped on to the perfect white petals.
I shut the door as I went inside,
Then started looking for a tiny vase.
Written 17th February 2003
‘The Keeper of Scrolls’