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Welcoming the Sunrise

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Welcoming the Sunrise

A heavy rain blurs the damp, grayish outlines of the willow trees at the edge of the meadow. The clouds high above thunder and roll, and with every passing second the icy chill of the predawn storm seems to grow even colder. Hidden beneath a bed of leaves, a small bird stirs, awakened by the turmoil. Peering out of its nest, it comes face to face with a wall of rain. Giving a small peep, it tucks its beak beneath its wing and slides back into a slumber to wait out the storm. Wind whips about the branches on the willows as the rain continues to incessantly pound the earth. A dark shadow seems fallen, and beneath the fury of the storm, no sign of life is visible. In the distance, bolts of lightning can be seen shattering the dark, broken mirror of the sea as waves roar and crash against a seawall protecting a small harbor. It is within this harbor that a dark seal has taken refuge. Nestled between two boats, it rocks to and fro with every wave. A buoy, blown off the dock by the harsh winds, lands suddenly atop the seal, and with a quick blink of surprise, the quiet creature slips deeper down beneath the boats, to huddle all alone. A swift current, leading to nowhere, tugs at the small seal’s fins. Battered by the storm and too tired to resist, the seal is swept further beneath the docks. Not far from this harbor, a small village is set back between the hills, sheltered from the wind, but not safe from the torrential downpour. A child’s doll, grimy and faded, rests in a puddle upon a dank, graveled alley on the outskirts of the impoverished township. It has only one eye, and gentle threads of water pull at what is left of its clothes and hair. Three houses down from where the doll lays soaking up the surrounding muck, a candle burns bright in the lower window of one of the shabbier homes in the village. A young, towheaded boy watches the falling rain through a cracked windowpane while the rest of his family clusters about a merrily crackling fire, unable to sleep because of the thunder. The boy’s shadow dances with the raindrops in the flickering candlelight as he watches the dark seascape with stout purpose. Suddenly his eyes grow big, and then he squints to better see the horizon. A squeal escapes him as his mouth takes the shape of an O. The first rays of sunshine have decided to make an appearance about the horizon, and ever so slowly, the raindrops fall further and further apart and the pinhole in the clouds grows to the size of a dinner plate. The sunrise. The clouds mysteriously vaporize and the sky becomes host to a rich array of colors, a painter’s palate. As quickly as it had appeared with the fall of dusk, the storm has disappeared with the break of day. The sunlight falling across the moist landscape erupts in sparkles that tickle the eye as it touches each dewy leaf and stone. A land of beauty, welcoming the sun.

This will certify that the above work is completely original. Lauren Nicole Leicht





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