A mother’s love is kind.
It is nor harsh nor heavy. It is layered in understanding formed by nature that is nurtured and well crafted.
A mother’s love is boundless.
A mother’s love is endless.
That is what Will believed, but he grew up without a mother so he might be a bit bias on what that love is to feel like. Instead, he focuses on provided the emotional support of that of Jameson who clings to his very being as if he is but a leaf that will eventually blow away in the harsh autumn winds bearing winter.
Today, he finds himself walking through the expansive woods behind their home (a thirty-minute drive from Washington’s center) following an old hunting trail from the previous owner. Jameson doesn’t linger far from him almost in sync with his strides. Together, he follows Winston and Buster who run up ahead having nothing better to do as dogs. Small hands clutch the tackle box handle he carries as they head to the river further up ahead. The sound of rushing water and birds singing is refreshing as barks fill the air. Amongst other things, Will is not alarmed to know he is only one of the few predators that lurk out here.
Instead he relishes in the neutral respect of being the pack alpha he has created which sounds weird, but it is nice to have something belong to him (no matter how unorthodox it may seem). He never pictured himself a family man. One can guess how two beings of opposite spectrums of solitude found consonance in each other’s space only to invite such a flower into their darkness. Flowers need light. Love. Water. Space.
So many things go into growing a flower that he can’t help but glance at the little girl who trots beside him in silence. Her eyes are far wider than they should be taking in the colors of fall with obvious joy. Leaves fall into her head resembling that of a crown. Her chestnut skin glistens in the early morning rays as fresh dew moistens her curls allowing them to expand into a halo of frizz. The burnt reds and soft yellows melt like golden in the backdrop as leaves fall like rain around them.
It is a scene out of a painting: one even Annabelle would describe in greater detail as beautiful. His fingers twitch brushing against the cold little ones that only curl tighter around the handle as if clutching for dear life.
“I won’t leave you.”
The thought is just that, but it doesn’t go without action as he adjusts the fishing rods and steps closer until her head is to his hip. Her muted brown eyes find his wild unruly blue ones that often are as vast and suffocating as the ocean itself. It is in their compatible silence they have the best conversations. Nothing is said directly. A flower does not speak of its concerns, but if it lacks light, its petals wilt. If it is without water, it closes it stomata. Little actions of survival that go unnoticed without careful hands to guide it. Not that flowers need people in the first place, but it helps to have someone there.
As they enter a clearing in the trees, a calm river invites them gingerly as Winston and Buster play tug of war with a stick. Will places their belongings on some nearby rocks before wading into the water. The girl stands on the bank sitting upon his brown jacket. Will casts his rod keeping an eye on both her and the lure. It is here he allows himself to think of this morning.
“Planning on bringing dinner home.” Will smiles as he looks at his work. His latest lure is well crafted taking him nearly hours to complete. All in all, his handiwork doesn’t go with admiration. Annabelle picks up the red lure examining it. She hums at his statement probably thinking of a good trout recipe.
“I’ll take Jameson with me.” He states.
Annabelle doesn’t comment, but he can see her features soften. It is a past time his dad and him shared as a child. One of the few things he truly enjoyed. Such a past time he’d love to share with someone. Since moving to this new house, Annabelle has turned the pool house (because people need a pool house in the middle of the woods) into an office like that of her other one. With patients making in calls or visiting her here, Will figures its best to take their... well... take Jameson with him.
Here they were, enjoying each other's company. Will glances up at the girl seeing transfixed with skipping stones (throwing them) into the water. What is to become of the flower? Like the river, he wants his worries to flow away, but he can’t seem too. No one ever sought to think of Will as parental and maybe he wasn’t, but to him, in this moment, she seemed ok. Ok was good. Maybe, after some time, he will feel the weight of his newfound agitation rest. After all, flowers can usually fend for themselves. Such an independent child has seen too much with wide eyes and a blank face. Yet, in the streaks of sunlight that shined through the canopy of wilting trees, light fell upon her in a divine matter.
In the silent moment of the woods, upon the darkness that crept from its corners, a flower could bloom. Her smile was testament that he was doing something right. Jameson had seemed content with listening to him as he describe what he was doing. When she gets older, he’ll allow her to go out into the water with him, but for now, she is content to have his attention. A trait they both seem to share.