The lupine bloomed late this year, purpling the south-facing slope with glossy necks in proud clusters, strutting through the sedges before the early autumn sun, catching the first snow crystals by quill and vane.
It was years ago, more than her ten. We were half-grown, half-filling the clumsy rental shack with our second-hand pots and marked-up textbooks. It was a place on pause, except for the cows. When the owner’s peafowl came by, making their rounds, the mountains mattered less.
We never knew when they’d appear, filling the windows with their iridescent muster, sounding their toy-trumpet calls, fearlessly milling about with their fanned fairy wings. Then, just as suddenly, they would go, taking their fierce blooms elsewhere.
I wanted to gather them up, to invite them in, but their tracks were countless in the shifting fog, the whirling dawn, the brief touch of summer’s twilight. Winter came early that year too, setting off the vivid colors with its pale feathers, resting on dreams of another season.