Melisa stood in the field drinking in the surroundings. Tomorrow, the last of the household goods would be gone, and this would no longer be home. In all of her wanderings, wherever in the world she found herself, this had been the lodestone that drew her back to Canada.
Now it was sold. The farm and all the stock belonged to someone else. Granted, he was someone they had known since he was a child, and they knew the place would be cared for and loved. But it was hard to say goodbye. She sighed, and looked at the tattered old scarecrow.
“I will miss you, Mr. Scarecrow. You have been a part of my life from as far back as I can remember. I know you will be all fresh and new next spring, but I will remember you this way, the way you always look after harvest is done. Tattered and worn, just like me.”
She felt a nudge on her thigh, and looked down to see a goat looking up at her. She reached down and patted its head. It looked so much like King William her eyes filled with tears. William the Conqueror had lived a long and happy life, as boss of the flock, and died one night in his sleep. She was away in Wyoming at the time in, the Wind River Range looking for signs of prehistoric villages. She had cried that night, alone in her shelter. It was her first loss. When she returned home that fall, she found that Greydon had buried William and put a marker on the grave. “He was part of the family,” he explained. “He did more than his fair share in keeping our flock going. It was the least I could do.” She looked at the grave and the marker, and turned and hugged him. All she could say was Thanks.
Leaning on her cane, she turned taking in the beauty of the land in the sunset light. Taking one last, deep breath, she turned and made her way back to the house. Her back and hip were aching, and she couldn’t stand any longer. Even with the pain of the loss of her husband and son, and the accident on a dig in Egypt that had left her crippled for two years, it had been a good life.
There had been so many incredible finds over the years. And she had shared in many astounding revelations in Astronomy, too, that had made her famous. Now she was getting old, and was retired from Archaeology; though even disabled as she was now, she could still take part in exploring space, and finding new stars, new earths.
Greydon had been running the farm for many years, after father was no longer able to do the work. He and mother had died thirty years ago, and much to Greydon’s disappointment, his sons had no interest in staying there. So now, Greydon and his wife would live in the house they had built on an acre of land they had kept when the farm was sold. Melisa now lived in Toronto, in a senior’s assisted living building.
She arrived back at the house to find a feast prepared. “I thought we should celebrate the happiness we’ve had here, and all of the wonderful memories. No sadness or tears tonight, just a time to reminisce.” Greydon said.
Surprisingly, Greydon’s idea worked, and dinner and the evening passed in a pleasant exchange of ‘do you remembers’ and ‘wasn’t it fun when we’. In the morning the last things were packed and they left the old home, sadly, but with so many good memories that tears no longer came. Melisa spent that night with Greydon and his wife, and left in the morning, content with her life, and her memories.