A little girl and the big bad world
|It didn't happen in a second or a minute or in ten minutes, but somehow it seemed sudden when all color was sucked from the sky. Blue became gray. What had been copper-white fluffy became dark-lurking angry. The wind driven darkness that wasn't quite night was lit up in jagged scars of thin pale light that were hard to fathom until the thunder followed. Then the downpour came.
The vibrant hum of raindrops, loud and fat and steady, continued long after a little girl named Janey-Jane had gone to bed. She was almost four, though she was not by any means convinced of it. If pressed she would tell you she didn't know how old she was, but she thought maybe she was older than she looked.
She was what some called an “old soul”, and others “a breath of fresh air”.
When the rain began sounding like fingernails against her bedroom window, Janey-Jane came downstairs squishy-eyed and smelling gently of toothpaste and Ivory soap. She asked each of her parents in turn (once again) if “Hank's flower” was going to be okay outside in the rain. The flower had sprung to life out of a mound of dirt that marked the grave of a black and white rabbit that to this day, and forever more, belonged to Janey-Jane, as real friends do. The rabbit's name was, and still is, Hank. And it was Hank who gave the gift of the overnight daisy.
Janey-Jane cherished the daisy flower in ways too dear to explain. She sat on her father's lap and they worried together. Her father said all things loved are still loved even after they're gone, and all things return again as something else, and are loved again, as something else.
Later, with Janey-Jane asleep and warm in his lap, her father sat very still listening to the rain on the roof and at the windows.