I have the most wonderful career in all the world, a Sky Painter. More importantly, I have fulfilled my mother's dream.


          I let my fingers slip under the special-made, woven fabric flap that held in my tool. The beautiful handcrafted paintbrush slid into my hand, perfectly fitting in my grasp. I noticed that my initials are engrained in the richly stained wood. With the very tip of my finger, running along the top, I felt the soft, yet sturdy bristles bend and quickly snap back into place. I was only told to create a masterpiece that would take their breath away. I searched below me, through the recently fluffed clouds, to see my mother, alongside my siblings, my loving boyfriend and other friends and family, crying over my loss.


         Before ascending to the sky, I was allowed to stay with them for a moment longer. I stood among them but not with them. I was an invisible bystander placing my hand on my loved ones shoulders, quietly whispering in their ears, that I was in a much better place now. Before God beckoned to me, I placed myself in front of my grieving mother to gaze into her reddened hazel eyes. I wrapped myself around her and I could feel her give into me, knowing I was there. Pulling away from her I watched as her eyes shot up from the decorated casket, searching for me. I wiped a single tear from her flushed cheeks, holding her face one last time before letting the beam of light pull me away.


        God knew that even though I was taken from Earth to be with him, I was not done dreaming. He had said he kept this job special for me. With a broad smile he asked for me to hand him back the paintbrush. Gingerly, I handed it back to him, not wanting to let go of my new treasure. He ran his callused fingers softly down the handle making it glow. Just below my initials were freshly burnt words that read, "The Sky Painter." I proudly accepted my new tool back, figuratively signing the career contract God had laid before me.  With my eyebrow raised and confusion showing in my expressions he told me, "let your vivid imagination, I have given to you be the paint and let the brush do the work."  I let a smile come across my face, giving him the inclination that I knew exactly what he had meant.


        Sitting upon a small cloud I waited for the right moment to catch the attention of all that survived me down below. With a wisp through my hair I turned to see God motion me forward, instructing me to begin. Kicking my feet as the cloud moved with the breeze, I touched my tool to the sky in front of me, making it dance beneath my bristles. The clouds puffed and swirled around me, tickling my face.  I knew I had to let my mother know I have assumed the position she had always talked about. I sculpted clouds that jet puffed across the sky, I let little holes pop up here and there to allow beams of light from the sun warm my mother's face, and I let all the colors from my imagination stream into my paintbrush. I placed the sun above the horizon, allowing it to change the blue skies to crimson, peach, magenta, and violet hues, perfectly blending into one another.

      My body laid to rest on the crest of a hill that over looked the salt kissed eastern coast, so I let the sun meet the waves as if they were fused together. I made the direct sunlight call to my mother bringing her to the beach to view my artwork.  With a few more tweaks and broad brush strokes I was finished with my mother's painting. With a quick flight I was by her side sitting in the sand with my head on her slumped shoulder. She brought her hand to my face knowing  I was there and knowing that I had created this sunset with her in mind. I stayed with her until God called for me. With my lips pressed to her forehead, I held on for one more second as she brought her hand up reaching for me.  My wings began to take flight and I squeezed her weakened hand one last time. The sand sprinkled from my toes as I made my way to the clouds. I took my place by God to admire my work, sitting right next to him. We let our feet dangle over the edge of the cloud, blissfully enjoying the sight as midnight began to take over my masterpiece.


originally posted on thesaltlfewriter.com

Published by Anna M. Balentine