This week’s Picture It & Write prompt is inspired by the photo below:
My humble submission is a tale called “Goodbye In Fall”
When she was younger, Ruth was called cute; her long red hair was the envy of the other girls in her ballet troupe. She had now reached an age where she was more often called handsome, a compliment for which she was grateful. No longer graceful or statuesque, Ruth’s ballet days had come to an end many years earlier after a sad love affair that ended with her broken heart and an even sadder fall that ended with her broken ankle. The fire had gone out of everything; even her once-flaming red hair had faded to a solemn smoky auburn. She spent her days immersed in memories of dance, love, and life as she and her cane made their way carefully through her quietly rural neighborhood.
And one day in fall, it happened: an epiphany to some and a break to others; to Ruth, it was a point of departure, of having reached a place where she’d had enough. Enough of only the memories, enough of getting old and moving farther away from who she had once been. She and her cane made their way off the familiar walking path and into the woods. She marveled at the way the rain sounded there, away from the houses, from the community center, from it all; it was musical and she took an awkward first position, her first in nearly six decades. As she made her way further off the path in the direction of the lake, she chose an appropriate tree and placed her toe shoes, her dress gloves, and her pearls on a reachable branch in hopes that some little girl exploring the forest might find them and bring them back to life. She wasn’t yet too far off the path for them to be spotted, their still-bright pink hue calling for someone to love them. As she and her cane picked their way closer to the lake, closer to the end of whatever all of it had become, she didn’t turn back to mourn the leaving but tried to move toward what she hoped would be peace, with some small measure of grace, one last time.