Late afternoon. 26 degrees.
Too warm for the end of March.
“In like a lamb. Out like a lamb,” says the wistful Laila, gliding through the bush. The sunshine sets her swirl of white skirt to cotton flame and she glows as she steps lightly over the brown powdery leaf litter carpeting last autumn’s forest floor.
Spring’s earthy taste, a pinot gris, light as pale lemon, lingers sweet on Laila as she walks through the forest.
A fine dew draws upon her brow and her upper lip.
“Too warm,” she sighs.
Golden sunlight paints her daffodil hair, warms her apricot cheeks, lights the fine hairs of her bare arms like filaments.
The snow in the bush is white fire amidst the brown.
It is untouched. Pristine. White diamonds sparkle on its melting crust.
“Ah,” Laila whispers.
She lays down in the snow and closes her eyes.
The cool white is cold fire on her back.
The warm sun is snug fire on her front.
She opens her china eyes and watches clouds puff across a canvas of cornflower.
She watches the sky until the sun sets and the nasal call of a nighthawk wakes her from her unconscious duality.
When she gets up to go, the outline of her body is melted into what is left of winter’s snow.
“Winter is dead,” says the wise Laila, gliding through forest as sacred as home.
Her skirt shines in the moonlight.