The weight of war was everywhere.
Ursula had turned her gaze to the town square where the tall trees released their leaves to the sunlight – dazzling maples in orange and red, yellowing birch, their leaves falling slowly, like feathers. Then a sudden gust shook the trees and filled the air with shimmering leaves! Ursula felt a rush of longing and hungered for the beauty of the day. She inhaled the scent of dry leaves swirling about, and took in the rustle of wind in the high trees, the flock of dark birds that rose with the gust and scattered among the branches. Then calm once again suffused the day. She closed her eyes and let the sun’s rays warm her, wondering at her sad tranquility. It was not the raw pain that had consumed her since Francis’s death, but a distanced melancholy. A sad resignation at the ways of the world and her small place in it – set against the aching loveliness of the October day. It didn’t seem right that she should feel such calm while the world ravaged on in pain and suffering. How could the world be filled with such horror, alongside such beauty?
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