Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Sunny Afternoon

"So it was that near the end of a wild and wet evening in the last days of October the five travelers rode up the climbing road and came to the South-gate of Bree. It was locked fast; and the rain blew in their faces, and in the darkening sky low clouds went hurrying by, and their hearts sank a little, for they had expected more welcome." The Lord of the Rings

The weather here is awful. Growing up in Miami, it is a law in my mind that it should not be cold and wet and humid at the same time. It just shouldn't exist. The arrival of cold weather should mean cloudless days and perfect hair. Not in England. Two weeks ago I didn't even see the sun all week. All week. If anything gets wet from the rain it won't dry for days. And all light disappears by 5PM. 

So if it happens that the sun actually comes out on a cold day, I treasure it immensely. I had a few of those days recently.

I work with a little boy with really severe cerebral palsy. He can't control his body, eat on his own or even speak. But he's a brilliant kid. He loves being outside, especially on sunny days. On Friday we did some moving and hoisting and managed to get him in a swing outside. It was clear and the sunshine was golden. At 2:30PM the shadows were long and the sun was preparing to set in the next couple hours. The leaves were bright yellow and red, stark against a bright blue sky. His swing is under a huge willow in his garden and the wind was gently playing through the leaves. He gazed around with a look of peace and contentment. He looks so intently up at the sky. Sometimes I try to figure out what he looks at with such a concentrated look on his face. I never can tell. We sat outside and swung, bundled up against the cold, listening to the leaves. Back and forth. Soft green grass, ruby leaves and a sapphire sky, golden sunlight covering everything.

I sang him soft songs about the sunlight, about the birdies in the treetops and the One who made it all. He listened with a gentle smile on his face. It was a sweet magical moment that seemed to last for hours.

When we had to go inside, he protested loudly. I had to promise him several times that we would go for a walk after snack before he quieted down. On our walk, the setting sun shone straight into our eyes but we didn't care. It glossed over the grey pavement and lit up the patches of moss like little jewels. When we got home our hands were frozen but we were happy. 

Lauren Spallone

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