I was walking to work, my attention cheerfully wandering, when a splash of sparkle caught my eye. Whatever it was, it was caught fast in a tumble of leaves, glittering mercilessly in the too-early sun.
I took a step or two before stopping – but the image was already burnt inside me - so my mind's eye studied the mysterious memory. Was it a brooch, its icy crystals warming in the light? Will it melt before I had a chance to look at it?
I peered closely:
It could have been a spangled veil – of diamonds, of pearls, of rain, of tears. It could have come from the hem of a petticoat – petit point crinoline and tinsel – and the lady had not noticed until later the ragged, wounded stitching. It could have been a swatch torn from a mantilla that had witnessed bloody sport in the ring and then fluttered hundreds of miles to rest in sweat and sadness amidst the thriving leaves.
Each grain of light held a world of purity inside, yet it glittered like Madame du Barry's scandalous necklace.
I honestly did not know what it was. And it was thrilling. The ideas that were occurring to me were as myriad as the prisms sprinkled among the vine's comforting arms.
But ultimately I realized that this was not a denizen of time, light, closets or jewelry boxes. What I had been theorizing and dreaming on was nothing more than a conspiracy between a spider's woven bed and the evening's dewpoint. The droplets pulled from the rich, saturated air had been strung like glass beads, or galaxies, along the silken threads.
Scheming Nature had once again contrived to surprise me with her clever beauty.