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I wake in the night. I lay quietly for a while hoping sleep will set in. Out of the corner of my eye I see slow, intermittent sparks of light pass the window. It feels at this hour as if I have access to other worldly powers.

I lay in the silence for some time, waiting for the lights to return. When they don’t, wide-eyed, I give in, pull the cord of my lamp, slip on my glasses, pick up my book and begin to read. But I am again suddenly distracted by little sparks of light flashing past the window. Sparks of fire? I wait.

I am distracted by the memory of the expression on my doctor’s face imprinted in my thoughts. What seemed superfluous three months ago has changed. I focus on the page in front of me, and read words, floating like the sparks I imagine outside my window.

Then they come again, the lights, pulling my eyes from the page, and my glance shifts towards the black of the night on the other side of the window. This time I watch.

It came then, like a friend. The gentle lilt of a single falling golden leaf, wrapped in a halo of light ‘neath the street lamp. I watch its waltz, its unexpected glimmer before it disappears, am comforted, then turn out the light.

Photo: Unsplash Ashley Bean

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