On another note, I couldn’t sleep last night and, when the sun rose, I saw that the clouds were turning all kinds of pinks and were layered dramatically, so I decided to take a quick walk to the park.
I saw what I think was an eagle.
I saw the sun warm the sky,
and turn the mountains, still snowy from the last storm, rosy and coral.
I saw the sun burst slowly over the horizon,
and turn the trees to copper.
And I saw a small pyramid of balls, sparkling with frost.
I couldn’t read the note and, with the corona virus still rampaging, I didn’t dare touch it, but I think it was meant as a gift to encourage people who come to the park to enjoy.
I got scolded thoroughly by a raven,
and made my way home, where I found the grape hyacinths had emerged and were tingling with rime.
And then, as I turned to go in the house, I heard a goldfinch singing in our locust tree. I searched for it, but it was tiny and high up in the branches. In those moments of searching, the sun inched up behind me, and then there it was, yellow-gold in the morning light, and I couldn’t get a decent photo of it. But the suddenness of the bird’s vivid visibility was like a revelation of something crossing from another world. First it was merely sound, beautiful sound, and then it was a gift of colour and light serenading the neighbourhood from our backyard.
Maybe it means something, this bird and its song in the morning. To me, it was enough on its own, a moment that transported my thoughts to a respite of loveliness.
Eventually, though, I do hope to get a better photo.
If you find this note, come find us. If you don’t find us, please take this note to Dr. Morgan Stone; she will want to know what happened.
How we got up this tree I hardly know. My friend Bridget and I left her house around four in the afternoon ~ late enough for the day to feel ripe in our hands. Hallowe’en has always been one of our favourite days; the evening held no terror for us.
We walked through the woods to the little hill to watch the sun set. Just as the rays turned scarlet and gold, Bridget’s father, who has been ill these many weeks, came running through the the woods on the straight path to the pond, shrieking for his daughter, angry and almost berserk. He skittered to a halt at the edge of the pond as Bridget and I tumbled down the hill, fearing for her father’s health and sanity.
Bridget and I lost sight of her papa ~ usually a dear, sweet man ~ as we ran and stumble among the trees. We burst through the trees just as a geyser reached ~ reached ~ out of the pond, poured itself over Bridget’s father, and when it dissipated, Bridget’s father was gone.
Bridget and I ran to the water, pleading with ~ we didn’t have any idea with what. Bridie kept saying, “Please, please, please…” and I just held out my hands. The water reached out again. It touched Bridie’s hair, my hands, then gathered itself together and pushed us off the pond shore. And then Bridie and I were moving through the trees. We had lost the clew we’d brought and were confused by the mist that seemed to shepherd us about.
And then I realized I had used up my energy reserve and more. Somehow we found this tree. How we got into it I don’t know. Bridie is drowsing and I don’t know what will happen now.
Oddly, I’m not afraid, but writing this out seems sensible. Dr. Morgan’s address is ——— wait;
• You will persuade one of the doctors to stay with your father.
• In the late afternoon, we will bundle up and tell your father that we are going for a walk.
• We will set out, as did the women in the tale, heading toward the pond. Unlike them, we will tie a clew of string from tree to tree to follow back if the mist gets thick.
• Also unlike your predecessors, we will not approach the pond directly. Rather, we will climb the small hill to wait for the sunset and watch the pond. I know you expect something evil, but I remain convinced that we shall find some beneficial energy or spirit that will provide some answers to the mysteries that affect your father.
• I shall stay by you always. I know you are sure you are the bait for some kind of monster, but I shall hold you as fast as Janet did Tam Lin, and no creature shall catch you out of my hold.
And then, Bridie, we shall have to hope. The Bridget of the Book was forced to accept a curse for the future as the cost of saving her loved ones. Perhaps we shall make a better bargain.
I shall slip this plan under your door to peruse during the slumbers of
Your drowsy, Hannah
P.S. Bridie, look again at the maps. The decoration of scattered leaves ~ I think they’re TRACKS!