Tuesday, 6 September 2016


Audio to follow 

Lewis picked up the seashell with his left hand, sniffed it, rubbed his thumb over the ribbed surface and then threw it back down onto the beach. It bounced once leaving a scar on the sand before settling, ready to be washed out to sea by the tide. As he looked at the shell, a gust of wind attempted to take Lewis’s cap, but it didn't quite have the energy. Seagulls swooped and sung on the breeze and the lights in the houses in the town were beginning to flicker on as daylight faded like a distant memory.
Lewis looked at the white feather in his right hand, a symbol of cowardice for so many, but for him a sign of bravery, of standing up for what you believe in. A white feather, a dove's feather, the bird of peace, the bird of love.  Lewis slowly turned his body, the sea was dark, the headland a black shadow, the curve of the beach and the houses with the lights and the little families settling down to their teas. Round he went until again, sea, headland, curve, houses, sea, headland, curve, houses. He was like the lighthouse beam, slow and steady. Finally, he came to rest with his back to the town, staring out to sea.
How would people react if they knew? It was his secret, not a guilty secret, a proud one. But if it wasn't a guilty secret, why didn't he tell his colleagues and friends? Why, when they were wearing their poppies and shedding a state-sponsored tear for the unknown soldiers didn't Lewis say it loud and proud instead of keeping quiet and keeping out of the way. Why when they were watching the latest commemoration of a World War One battle on the news, didn't he tell his wife his little secret. Why hadn’t he told his kids where he was on this cold dark October day? 
He bent down, his body creaked in protest. He planted the feather in the sand so it flickered in the wind like a candle. His own commemoration, his own tribute to the forgotten few. A white feather, a symbol of remembrance, a symbol of bravery, a symbol of peace. 

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