I have been badgering the Big Guy for the past hundred years or so to consider my plea for a sabbatical. Not only am I weary right through to the marrow of my bones; I am bored stiff as well, and tired of giving to those who take my work for granted. It’s not easy to be creative in a job that you’ve been performing day in, day out, over and over and over again for longer than you can even begin to remember.
I pinch around the envelope, trying to gauge how many sheets of paper might be in there. It seems an awfully thin package—God knows, it only takes one sheet of paper to say the word, “No.”
Unshed tears burn behind my eyelids at the thought of another rejection. Over the past decade, my midnight blue melancholy has begun to stain the canvas of my labours, leaving splotches of ash grey and charcoal. My favourite pots of sunny yellow and sky blue and leaf green have begun to harden and fade. The chill that spreads beneath my brush makes me shiver.
The little rebellions that I have unleashed in recent years have not been bold enough to prod the Big Guy into relenting.
My sigh ripens into a strangled moan as I pluck at the envelope’s golden seal. My damp fingers slide the single translucent sheet of parchment from its holder and I gently smooth it open on my lap.
The proof of my misjudgment causes me to gasp aloud, for there at the top of the page, in His delicate calligraphy, are the four words that I’ve been praying for: “You have my blessing.”
I turn my head to the side briefly so my joyful tears won’t mar the precious missive. Quickly swiping the back of my hand over my eyes, I resume reading His tidy, gold script.
“My dearest Mother Nature. It is with great sorrow that I release you from the significant role you have performed with exceptional dexterity for all of eternity.
Tomorrow, you shall receive your release forms by courier dove, along with formal authorization to execute a final act of mass destruction, upon which your tour of duty will end for an unspecified time.
You have been an exemplary servant and I shall miss you. Go forth and go out like the regal lioness you are. And do enjoy your much-deserved rest.
Bless you, my dear,