Out The Window
by Gail Denham
Ethel swung to her wheelchair from
the bed. Sunlight shone on the short table where
Maria had laid out tea and almond
paste scones from the bakery on Stark Street.
Leave it to dear Maria to bring exactly what this day
needed. Ethel breathed deep. And there was something
else. Aromas swept in, as sweet as the ripe raspberries
she'd picked from her grandmother's vines, on the farm.
Maria had opened the top window. That blessed girl. It
had been such a long winter, sad, lonely, dreary. Maria
knew how much Ethel loved the early air of springtime.
Excited bird sounds told Ethel that Maria had filled the feeders.
Ethel tried to envision the scene in the yard. She couldn't raise
high enough in the chair. She rolled over to the windows. Then,
struggling, she pushed up, her legs wobbling like limp spaghetti.
Inch by inch. Ethel clung to the sill, leant all her weight forward.
And then she saw them. The morning glory blooms were all open
now, moving gently in a breeze, glowing as if they were the only
flowers God ever created. Ethel held her breath. She'd have to sit
down soon, but not until she memorized every blossom she
could see. Her body shook from the effort to stand that long.
A breeze blew down on her flyaway white hair. She drank in
the purple beauty, delighted the fog had gone. She wished she could
touch one of those magnificent blooms before afternoon shadows
arrived. She knew her tea was cold now, but she didn't care.
She'd like to stay here all day and drink in this glory.
All at once an adventurous small brown wren perched at the open
window, sat and watched her. Ethel felt it must know her joy. Then
her weak legs gave out. She had to plop back into her carry chair.
Maria would soon return to help her dress. She'd scold a little
realizing Ethel had gotten out of her chair. But she'd understand.
Maria would also feel the sweetness of this special day, even
though Maria could never enjoy the vigorous color of the morning
glories, so richly blue, the flowers resembling the "Color by
Number" sets Ethel remembered enjoying at her grandmother's. She
imagined painting morning glories, coloring them a deep rich purple.
But Maria, being color-blind, could only listen intently to Ethel's
descriptions and be glad with her.