(Originally written: March 18, 2019)
I sat atop the windmill, gazing out through the idly spinning sails. Like a film being played frame by frame, the scenery changed ever so slightly after each. An eagle that had been flying away could no longer be seen; had it landed or flown too far for my eyes? The miller at the bottom of the hill held his daughter up in the air and spun her around, her position changing in sync with the turning of the windmill. They looked content. Maybe they’d like to be joyous?
I reached out with my right hand and scooped up the air in front of me. I cupped it over my left and pressed the air until it was colder. When I was beginning to lose feeling in my palms and fingers, I opened my hands. A little cloud floated above my palm, gray whisps drifting away and becoming normal air again. I blew on it gently, like I was stoking an ember into a flame, and it drifted toward the father and daughter pair. The cloud grew as it approached them and then slowly wrapped itself around the small roof of the miller’s house. The weather vane that he had placed atop it stuck out through the top of the cloud like the peak of a mountain.
Snow began falling to the ground, meeting the happy, surprised giggles of the miller’s daughter. As this was a cloud made from a template, each snowflake would, in fact, resemble one of the three patterns I had memorized. The miller’s daughter didn’t notice. She jumped from her father’s arms and into the snow. The crunch of tiny, booted feet playing in a blanket of snow filled the air alongside her cheers and her father’s bemused warnings to be careful.
It’s rude to intrude upon someone’s happiness uninvited. I leaned back and rolled down the steepled roof. My feet went over the edge first. The somersault continued until my head also went over and I was falling to the ground, back first and spread eagled. I slowly counted to a second, then turned. The grass that was patiently growing towards me wasn’t soft enough for a belly-flop. But it was for an acrobat’s roll. I hit the ground on the balls of my feet and rolled until all my momentum was expelled. Then, with my hands in the pockets of my coat, I strolled down the hill and onto the gravel pathway that was rounding its curve.
Time to go home. Wherever it was.