It was early morning and James was trying to work, his pen hovering over the blank sheet of paper as he composed the verse in his mind. His mind wandered, unwilling to focus on the job at hand and he found himself thinking of his daughter instead. Still fragile, but growing stronger every day, Angela was constantly in his thoughts. The disease had struck suddenly, almost stealing her away, but fate had intervened and she returned to them, pale and weak, her skin almost translucent.
As if her return hadn’t been gift enough, she brought him things every day to put on his desk, a flower, an unusual leaf, and yesterday, a feather. It sat on the corner of his desk, catching his eye as he sought inspiration.
Quite a large feather, he thought, a flight feather, white with iridescent blue barbs, the central shaft strong enough for quite a large creature. He wanted to pick it up and examine it in detail. To turn it over to see what colour it was on the underside. Most feathers were a different colour underneath to camouflage the bird in flight, but for some reason, he couldn’t bring himself to touch it. It lay there, gleaming in the morning light, the iridescence radiating outward like a halo.
As he gazed at the feather, he remembered the careful way Angela placed it there, reverently, as if giving him a holy thing. He did feel blessed, but it was by her presence, not just the gift, so why did the sight of it lying there fill him with awe?
Something about it had touched his heart, reminding him that life was full of wonder if you took the trouble to stop and look for it. Miracles did happen sometimes…