She walked those steps each day with sinking tread, climbing to work on the spongy, broken, old. She knew the dull gray mud that filled the gaps, the grass, the flowers; knew to avoid the tangled briars and ragged raging rose. Sunshine or showers, she walked this way, eyes downcast, cold and closed until one day, one tiny faded blade of green arose.
She watched the plant daily until it bloomed, a sparkling yellow crocus, and she smiled. A squirrel ate it and a bird complained. But skies were blue and eyes were open again. And her footsteps grew light.