Blue Shutters

Blue Shutters

By Kathy Koches


blue-shuttersShe heard them banging, blown by the wind and driving rain. The sound had awakened her from a deep sleep as the storm outside intensified.  She slipped from her bed quietly to check that the windows were all securely fastened.  Satisfied that all was well, she quickly returned to the safety of the warm comforter and lay wide-eyed, listening intently.

BANG! There it was again, the blue shutters on the window across the alley crashing against the wall.  Why had no one secured them?  Was she the only one who noticed the noise at 3AM? 

Yesterday, while working in her garden, she happened to glance up and see, just for a moment, a face at the window with the blue shutters.  It was an old face, wrinkled and weathered, the eyes seeming unfocused. She had lifted a hand and waved a greeting, and she thought she glimpsed a smile in return. She had never met her elderly neighbor, and resolved to go for a visit soon, taking a batch of freshly baked cookies.

Now she wondered if the old man would welcome her, or whether he would pretend that he was not at home. She lay listening to the blue shutters banging in the wind, over and over, until the rhythm finally lulled her back to sleep.

She opened her eyes to a glorious dawn, the sun turning the clouds pink and lavender, and got out of bed with a smile, ready to begin another beautiful day. She went about her morning tasks and around noon stepped out into her garden. Glancing up, she saw the blue shutters hanging at an odd angle, and affixed to one of them was a large black satin bow. 

She knew immediately that the old man next door had passed away during the night, while the blue shutters continued their relentless banging and the sky lit up with fireworks to guide him on his way to his new life.  Perhaps, she thought, the blue shutters were merely clapping, in appreciation for a life well lived.

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