Beautiful Morning

by: John S Alty

A life come full circle, a love enduring, brought forth in a mere two hundred and thirty-five words…

I met her in the autumn, a magical time on the lake. After the dead calms of summer, the breezes were back and delta-flights of honking Canada geese were arriving for the winter. The trees were starting to acquire their mantel of red and brown and gold.

I left the house, coffee mug in hand, and walked down the dew-covered dock. The first hint of the rising sun showed above the trees on the eastern shore, a promise of another fine day. I heard her call, a strong voice carrying clearly over the still water, “Beautiful morning.”

She was in a kayak, rhythmic strokes skimming her along the shoreline towards the dock.

“Sure is. Want some?” I raised my cup.

She slid the kayak into the dock and clambered out and we fell in love over coffee.

Blissful autumn turned to joyful winter. Log fires, the forest dusted with icing sugar and the lake frozen. Then spring came. 

“I feel so tired again. What’s happening to me? Darling, I’m scared.”

So started the summer from hell. Tests rendered up the tragic diagnosis, the hopeless prognosis.

It’s autumn again. I empty the urn and watch the ashes disperse. They sink slowly, spread out, drift away on the slight current. The circle of life closes.

As I walk back down the dock I hear a strong voice carrying clearly over the still water, “Beautiful morning.”


John Alty is British, has travelled extensively and has lived in Hong Kong, South Africa, USA and Canada. He now lives in England with his wife and writes for the pleasure of it. He has been published in various magazines.

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