Every year on her birthday, she captured a rush of wind in a jar and labelled
the jar with the date. It was a birthday tradition she had begun as a child,
a precocious three-year-old, intrigued by the idea that something invisible
could be heard and deeply felt. Shelved neatly in chronological order,
the jars now numbered seventy-five and, as her birthday was in late December,
it was certain that if the winds were ever released, they would blow strong and
polar cold. Each jar displayed a fall of snow, some nearing blizzard conditions,
individual flakes suspended in mid-air, their crystalline structures unmatchable
in radiance. One jar, by far her favourite, contained a honey bee, a victim
of miscalculation having awakened prematurely from its winter sleep.
Its silvery wings were frozen in motion, inseparable from the glitter, while,
stark against the blustery pale, its black and yellow stripes buzzed electric.