It was a beautiful sunny spring day, the first for several weeks. The young girl wandered alone on the moors overlooking her home. She marveled at the sparkling newness that always surprised her after the long evenings and cold nights of a Yorkshire winter. The snows were gone for another year. Though they had a unique charm, she was always relieved to see new growth break through the bleak whiteness of the surrounding hills.
She took a little time to catch her breath. The steep climb from the village had taken much out of her. Before too long her strength would return, and she would take small journeys like this in stride, but the enforced idleness of the past months told on her. If only the sun could shine all year, she reflected. It was always damp in that rambling old building they called home. There, her father prepared and practiced his sermons, and ill health had already taken her two elder sisters to early graves.
This was, without doubt, a most unhealthy place. But her father always thanked God for whatever gifts He chose to bestow, conveniently forgetting what He chose to take away. Even her school days had been marred with sickness and death, and she had already lost several close friends to the dreaded typhus that had also threatened her. She supposed, however, that she ought to be grateful for having been spared.
Her two younger sisters, her only real friends in this desolate place, were also sickly, and would no doubt benefit from a period of prolonged sunshine. But she knew only too well that this sudden appearance of the sun was only temporary, and that the rains and winds would soon return before they could truly say that winter was over. Without a doubt, there would be several more weeks spent in their cold room, passing time writing and drawing, and telling each other the stories they had made up.
But for now, the moor was beautiful. From her lookout above the village, she could see severa