Moira dipped her fingers slowly into the sack of grain -- she loved the way it felt against her skin. She stood in the marketplace, taking in the bustling sights and succulent smells. She grinned to hear the baker quibble familiarly with his wife over the prices they charged and of which items more would be needed today. A group of churchwomen congregated together, clicking their tongues as they gossiped about everyone else. The menfolk made their way away from the hubbub to see the new machinery on display over at Ben Rooney's place. Children ran laughing through the street, darting behind this booth and that one, and around ol' blind Tom.
He was standing there with Magnus, who dutifully waited, tail a-wagging, to lead Tom on to make the necessary purchases. His companion would not budge, however, for though he could not see, he knew he had the young ladies enthralled with his recollections of his adventures at sea. Magnus whimpered silently; the story had reached its end, and the other young women were lured away by the nearby rich fabrics in the general store. Tom started in on the same tale for a second time, and she gave Magnus a pat, encouraging them to continue with their day. It was good to hear his voice again, Moira thought.
She slowly meandered to her favourite garden stand. Its faded sign had been painted long ago by little Rebecca, the long-gone daughter of the old couple who ran it. There was Robert, a big man with a shock of white hair and crinkly, smiling eyes, and his wife Kathleen, a stately, tenderhearted woman with a love for children. Moira bought an apple, smiling to herself as she watched a very wee, trembling child change her expression from terror to delight as the big man looming overhead, taking up the sky, offered her a juicy apple. What good people they are, she mused.
As she strolled along the outskirts of town, the sea air caressed her rosy cheek. The wind carried to her the sounds of the Finnigan brothers, Andrew and Kyle, laughing heartily as they welcomed a new guest to enter their pub. Everyone became family here. She looked off the bluffs, watching the fishermen come into the shoals, dragging nets. Children bouncing out into the surf to greet them were so joyous for the day. How good to be here, and happily Moira swayed with the wind, only to be caught in the strong arms of the young, handsome doctor.
"Easy, Mrs. Sweeney," he murmured -- but who was Mrs. Sweeney? She herself was but 16 -- as he half-led, half-carried the wizened old woman with wispy, grey hair carefully back to her daybed, where she'd dream back once again...