When the Days are Warm
This chamber had always smelled so sweet, like lavender and sunlight,
but now the air seemed dark and stale. If only the servants would open the windows,
Boromir thought. He felt a gentle but stubborn tug at his hand as
Faramir sought to pull away. He loosened his grip and watched as, with
a happy squeal, Faramir ran to their mother. Though her head was bowed,
as if in slumber, she quickly looked up at the sound of his voice. Her
chair was drawn close to the brazier, and she wore a fur-lined mantle
over her gown.
Faramir held up a muddy fistful of crocuses. “Mother! I brought you
these flowers!” A shower of dirt pattered to the floor. He had yanked
the crocuses out by their roots before Boromir could stay his hand.
Leaning forward, their mother admired the gift. “That is very kind of
you. How beautiful they are.”
“They are yellow,” Faramir said, wisely nodding his head. His younger
brother often spoke these great truths, and Boromir always struggled
not to laugh. Yet today he felt strangely annoyed by this chatter.
“Yellow like sunshine or egg yolks,” their mother replied with a smile.
“But he pulled up your flowers, Mother. Now they will wither and die.”
Boromir scowled at his brother.
“No, you need only plant them back in the ground, and they will flower
for many more years. The gardener can show you how.” She put one arm
around him while clasping Faramir with the other, wrapping them both in
“Could you come to the garden and show us? I can dig the holes. And
Faramir will help.”
“I can help!” his brother said, his voice a high-pitched echo. The
bruised and muddy flowers were still clenched in his hand.
Boromir squirmed in his mother’s grasp, trying to stand upright. “You
can sit on the bench and tell us what needs to be done.”
“The cold is too bitter, my love. When the days are warm again.” His
mother drew him closer, until he no longer could look in her eyes.
“Do you promise? As soon as the days are warm, then you will come
outside with us?” The soft fur of the mantle pressed against his face.
“Of course, Boromir,” she murmured into his hair. “I promise.”