Harbinger

Long before dawn, Callie was awake, dressed and headed to her car. The night’s light snowfall and freezing temperatures meant she needed to clear the car windows. She shivered as she crunched across the parking lot, adjusting her hood to shield herself from the biting wind.

The long frigid days, dark gray skies and never-ending work hours left her weary. This morning she had been reluctant to leave her warm bed. She fantasized, imagined pulling the covers over her head, forgetting her responsibilities and letting sleep take her. The boss would not approve, and her meager paycheck would be lighter than she could afford.

The car blasted freezing air through the heater, and she hit the button for the rear defogger. It would clear the back window while she chipped ice and snow from the windshield. She worked quickly, eager to avoid the wind and blowing snow.

The door squeaked as Callie tossed the snow scraper in the back seat and slammed the door closed. She blew on her hands, creating heavy clouds in the still cold car.

“The forecast calls for another cold day, today,” the voice chirped from the radio.

“Who would have guessed?” Callie responded as she drove.

“Didn’t the groundhog predict an early spring?” the voice continued.

“Could have fooled me.”

“Don’t hold your breath, but we’re predicting a warm-up for next week.”

“Promises, promises,” Callie grumbled.

“No, really folks, it looks like we might be able to shed a few layers by next Tuesday or Wednesday.”

“You’re pretty optimistic. Besides, aren’t you guys wrong half the time?”

The station switched to music and Callie noticed a slight orange glow of dawn tinting the sky.

Darkness ebbed as she drove. Her car was almost lukewarm when she pulled into the work parking lot. She hunched, head down, as she braved the walk to the entrance.

Beside the door, a purple splotch lay on the ground.

“Why can’t people put their trash in the bin?” she wondered as she stooped to grab it.

But it wasn’t trash. Confused, Callie brushed back the snow. There, sheltered from the worst of the weather, purple crocus emerged from their hibernation. The tiny heralds boldly proclaimed winter’s end. Hope washed the bitterness from her soul and buoyed her tired body.

“Spring is here,” she whispered.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

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