The road was windy and smooth. Each turn was fluid. The crisp air was silent except the run of the car engine that vibrated the air around her. Her red lips had small wrinkles at the corners as her slight smile curved on her face. Her tanned skin was slightly wrinkled from the sun's heat over the years. The blue eyes on her calm face were colored a crisp blue. They were pristine pools. They had a certain sincerity to them that hid the jaded memories of her past.
“Deep in the meadows, under the willows, a bed of grass, a soft green pillow.” The restful words hummed out of her mouth and decorated the air in a lovely way. Another twist through the forest.
“Lay down your head, and close your eyes. And when they open, the sun will rise.” Each word had its own beat of tranquility. Another twist. The winding, snaky path twirled past a river.
“Remember that song, sweetie. I'd sing it to you every night. It was the only way you could sleep.” A laughed bubbled out of Cheryll Lowell while she adjusted the pine box beside her.
The fish jumped in and out of the river. Dodging the rocks around them. They playfully teased the fishers nearby as the cast their lines to the swarms. The water sparkled in the July sun. Rapids splashed by the broken trees surrounding Cheryll Lincoln Mkz. The towering pines sheltered the river from the heat by created a cool wrapper of shadows at every corner. Logs floated down in a quickened pace.
Deer knelt to take a cool drink. The mothers assisted her small children in a protective manner. The baby's snout was splashed by the fish. Causing it to stumble into its mother's side for safety. The baby shook it's short fur and turned away from the river curve.
Lilacs and daisies coated the fields beside the river in true beauty. They bent to the breeze with fragile elegance. The bees hummed nearby, awaiting their chance to gain the most prominent ingredient in their sweet concoction.
Mossy stones lie the pines in the rugged dirt. The brown layer of sandy material covered the ground. Pine needles fell into their embrace. The small spurts of grass created the green areas giving it the environmental diversity so many people love. The rocks began to grow larger as Cheryll got closer to the mountain.
One caught her attention. She smiled while turning into the rest stop by the road.
A small voice played on repeat in her head as she removed the keys from the ignition.
“Mommy! There! We have to stop!”
Cheryl exited her flashy car and closed the door. The refreshing smell of nature's beings and creations filled her nose with such natural delight she wanted to stand here forever. She breathed quickly, trying to fill her nose with more and more amazing scent. Her chest rose and fell. When her mouth opened the smell of dirt and grass was so nourishing. So pure and lovely. Composed in an innocent way. No honks. No chatter, just air. Air that made her need to sit. The same mossy rock as 12 years ago fit perfectly in the dirt. Not unbalanced in one place, no, it was even and crawled with flourished moss.
The miniature vines shook as Cheryl adjusted her position and smiled at the road. Her eyes closed. Focusing just on the smells. Just on the air.
“Mommy, smile!” The click of the camera clutched to the air. Laughter pierced the speedy sound of the river.
It was pretty thought Cheryl. The air was so clean and untainted. The wind whirled to cool the environment in the most natural way. The trees waved to the river as the gusts circled their branches. The dusty ground swept from side to side and shuffled along nature’s floor.
Cheryl needed to keep moving though she didn’t want to. Her mind told her to go before daylight was lost. Her body told her to sit by the river as it sings her it’s splashing lullaby.
Finally, Cheryl got back behind the wheel of her car and continued on the windy road. Every twist and turn reminding her of what she gained and what she lost. The Hawks tore through the sky. Playing hide and seek among the tall trees. They chased each other. Playing and teasing in and out of the pines.
Cheryl smiled. She remembered when she was like a hawk, chasing and playing all day long.
Blue sky kept peeking through the great trees. Every time it was covered by mountains and nature’s beings, it would come back with the same brilliant blue as before. Never fading. Never overcome by the night because everyday it would return with the same brightness and optimism as before. Even when the clouds would try to mask and destroy the positivity it would open up with more and more lovely blue. Memories overwhelmed Cheryl while she stared at the big fluffy clouds above her.
“Mommy, look at that cloud! It looks like a crown!”
“Oh wow! It does doesn’t it, sweetie?”
“One day I’m going to have a crown, it’ll be pink with gold stars!” Her smile kept growing while she stared at the royal cloud.
The river followed Cheryl’s car. Staying with it for 68 minutes along more winds and turns. Finally the river branched off on its own. Like a baby bird leaving its nest for the first time.
The road began its descent around the thin mountain. As the car neared the top you could see more and more of the woody landscape on one side. On the other you see the tan rocks that were built long ago in Earth’s early stages. The mountain grew taller like a child in its early years. A few streams poured off the side, about to meet its great leader of a river.
The signs told the directions of the mountain and which way to go. After a long drive of many lovely details Cheryl arrived at the top. Flat, completely flat except for two trees, three large boulder, and eleven medium rocks. A few holes existed here and there, but the top was absolutely flat.
The view was breathtaking. Difficult to describe. The River was running in the distance, but now it was silenced by the chilled wind. Trees were everywhere, if you tried to count them you’d get lost in the green layout. The city was resting far away. What was once a big sight, that one could get lost in was now just a speck of a town on Earth’s large face.
Cheryl carefully grabbed the pine box from the passenger seat. On top of the tan box was a beautiful carving of cherry blossom flowers. 8 to be exact. The same number as the age of her daughter when she died of cancer 12 years ago. 2 weeks after her eighth birthday. 12 years ago Cheryl and little Katherine stood on top of the same mountain gazing at the beaty.
“So pretty, mommy. Thank you for my birthday present. This is amazing.”
“Of course, sweetie.”
“Don’t ever leave me.”
“I won’t Katherine. Even after I’m gone, I’ll never leave you.”
Cheryl repeated her words as she slid off the pine lid. Her fingers shook as she carefully turned the box over. Ashes floated off into the wind. A trail of Katherine flying over the treetops just like the hawks. Running with the river just like the bees. Resting in the pines and dirt just like the mossy stones. Once all was gone, Cheryl closed the box that said August 7th, 2000-August 21st, 2008. Looking out she saw the last bit of Katherine flying into the pines. With that sight she closed her eyes and said her last words to her daughter.
“It’s time for you to go.”