She sits by the window, unseeing, unreceptive. Since the fire she neither speaks, nor gives any indication that she can hear. Smiles are a thing of the past.

She senses three people in the room with her. Hearing them converse in low, concerned voices, she intuits that she is the center of the discussion, that her fate is within their hands. One of the visitors opens a window, hoping to relieve the feeling of suppression holding them all within its thrall.

A spring breeze laden with the scent of honeysuckle joins them in the room to aid in her recovery.

One deep breath, and she becomes again a 9-year-old girl running with abandon through the fields behind her house, just as she has done on the first day of spring break vacation every year for the last four years. Beside her runs her best friend and Sprig, the dog who has always been a part of her life. Jumping rivulets of water bubbling at their feet, shouting with joy at the sun which pours down on them, they finally reach their destination at the far side of the field – a thicket of honeysuckle.

Arriving first, she plucks a blossom from the vine, silently hands it to her friend, then chooses one for herself. Solemnly, they nip the end of each blossom with their teeth, raise their faces to the sun in tandem, then drink the first taste of spring, nature’s elixir of hope.

Back in her room, someone closes the window. The scent vanishes, taking with it her memories of the past. As her visitors leave, she turns her face up to the sun, and smiles.

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