A cold breeze stirs the fallen autumnal leaves drifting this way and that.
She flicks up the collar of her jacket, but the chilly air refuses defeat. It finds a gap between upturned collar, scarf and shirt. Human body shivers as it finds it target: bare skin.
This weather is not like home, she thinks. Much more like the depths of our winter. Brrrr!
Realised discomfort triggers further awareness. Her lower back is aching, hamstrings feel uncomfortably taut and her feet scream ‘Tired! No more!’ with each step.
Heeding the need to stop, she looks about. Directly opposite the street, she espies a church. An opened door beckons.
May not be warm, but at least it is somewhere to rest.
Tentatively venturing over the threshold, she enters the hushed inner sanctum. Ahead, left of the congregational seating, and near the altar, a man is lighting a candle. On the right-hand side, a woman sits in the second row.
Plenty of room.
Taking a step to her right, she enters the nearest pew and sits.
Her body collectively sighs.
Oh blessed bliss! This is so good.
And as she savours the moment, it is then that she hears the first strains.
Emanating from on high, it shoots forth travelling parallel to the vaulted ceiling before radiating downwards to the mere mortals below.
Joyful. Triumphant. Uplifting.
Her soul reciprocates. It soars and dances in tune to the music.
The mundane forgotten, she sits and listens. Enthralled. For ninety glorious minutes. And when the echoes of the final notes drift into memory, she is in awe, shaking her head in disbelief.
For all her travel plans she had not, could not have foreseen this truly wondrous experience. Unannounced. Unplanned. A gift.
Copyright Jo 2012