There’s a morning chill in the air as I walk briskly through the snow. The faint light of dawn is just over the hills of the horizon as the aurora fades from the sky.
Last night was difficult. I’d witnessed a fallen angel upon the snow-laden ground and taken his pulse only to find none. It never gets easier.
I had checked my watch before leaving this morning, but time held its breath in the night. Now, in the morning fog, I am holding my breath in anticipation of yet another fallen angel.
I look to the North. The aurora has returned as I try to hold back my tears. I can see the faint silhouette of another angel printed in the sky. I squint my eyes. Is it really just a silhouette?
I watch in amazement as another joins hands in the sky. It begins snowing rose petals as my tears stain my cheeks. What is happening?
The silhouettes join hands and sing in unison as the earth shakes. I fall to the ground and find it stained with gold. I look up to see a million angels join my two silhouettes.
Is it possible? The rebirth from the snow, the rose petals, the gold. How can this be?
I look up and weep afresh as my angel – the angel I thought was gone – alights next to me and hands me a rose made of stars. I look at him in confusion.
Is it possible that it was not what I’d thought it was?
He smiles at me and kisses my cheek. I can feel his lips cold in the dark on my skin. He’s real.
He hands me the arrow I had seen pierce his chest the night before as a shadow joins him.
And suddenly, I understand. The pain in my heart lessens as I realize the truth of the matter.
His spirit had never died, even if his body had. The spirit was the key.
I smile through my tears and hand him his bow as he joins his family in the sky.
I wave to them as they slowly fade away in the night.
It is Christmas Day.