He stands just behind my right shoulder – a young man, so comfortable in his own skin, his presence adds inches to his height. And, in six-year-old guise, he clutches my left hand as tightly as his young strength allows. The nine-month-old him sprawls, arms and legs akimbo, in complete abandon on the bed’s rumpled sheets; while he-at-twelve sits on the edge of the same bed with arms defiantly crossed about his narrow torso – purposefully, he avoids my eye, assures himself that I know this. Finally, there, in a knot of sheet spilled upon the floor, is his smallest and youngest form – a red faced, yowling and inconsolable, thumb-sized infant whose continuous, shrill shriek drives all ability to think from my skull.
Broad and blue as water, the sky floats above a lush green meadow tossed with wind-stirred wildflowers. Calm. Lovely. Pastoral. On the horizon, beyond hill and grass and flowers, a low line of white vapor forms — lifts and drifts, expands.
A word, born of white cloud; mist-edged yet distinct. Gently, it wafts upward, pushed higher by another word. Then another. Until the words stretch and elongate in height, and the sky is inscribed in pale, loose-formed text. A second line follows, then a third and a fourth. The lines scroll upward, and soon, the sky — from horizon to vault — is filled with perfectly-formed cloud words.
Over there, amongst the sky-written page, floats the word: “Flowering”.