It is June and I stand poised on the landing of the half circular staircase. I am hearing the strains of the Canon not heard in this, my lifetime. Shocked still, caught in the shadows of half remembering and yet reluctant to confront the shaded memories, I wait.
She is visible, the young woman gliding with joy to the music which carried her down the long hall. She curtsies to the throngs lining the great walls.
I stand, not moving. Her joy is mine, translating to an emptiness in my heart. The tears scald my cheeks and the rest solidify in a mass in my throat. I cannot swallow. I am in danger of drowning from within and without.
It is now December. I am before an ancient building in a city bearing her years gracefully. The snow is circling my feet and the wind is freezing my eyes. I am rooted to this spot. The air is ringing with the sounds of holiday; lights flicker their ritualistic colors in harmony. Yet I stand immobile.
On the second floor of the ancient building, caught in the winter of my memories, I see the long hall stretching before me. The strain and refrains of the Canon carry the young one still, waltzing yet. The violins smooth the way for her memories to be built. The red vests of the rotund violinists complement in contrast their black, slicked hair. They bend and bow in homage. Their music locks her destiny forever.
My eyes are again in danger, this time of freezing in their sockets with the salted tears that cannot stop. The memory does not move, not to one side nor the other. My will forces my eyes to play again what can only be seen in my throbbing head. Courted through centuries with great care to remain hidden, I unwittingly jarred the box housing those memories.
In retrospect, I was ready. It was my time. I turned away shaken and knowing