Archive for July, 2013

Above the Mountains in the Clouds

I was about five years old. We were on our way to the beach for the first time. I opened my sleepy eyes as we went down the mountains and rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Below my was a fluffy layer of clouds with what looked like an island emerging from its center. Was I still asleep? Had I been lifted to some sort of magical land?

I looked up and say my parents in the front seat. My mom turned around and smiled, knowing my thoughts. “We are above the clouds, honey,” she smiled. “What you see is a mountaintop coming up from the valley.”

“Wow!” I though. “Could seeing the ocean for the first time really beat this?”

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Making Memories of Us by Keith Urban

This is the song that was played on the video my son-in-law made of my oldest son and his wife’s wedding as the script of the wedding party played and they were pulling out of the church. It will always bring tears to my eyes-from 2005

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In Nature, All is Equal

After ten days of rain, the creeks had turned into raging rivers, fields where corn had just begin to show hope, were lakes of muddy brown. Roads had washed away in the loud, angry torrents.

Suddenly, the heaviness of water became too much for the steep, over developed vistas. Firetrucks warned the wealthy residents to get out-now. Forget packing the fancy furnishings, the mountain was giving away!

Our 1920’s bungalow sat safely on a gentle hill, above the swirling waters, below the sliding cliff sides. Now, the moist air was expectantly pleasant. In nature, all man is equal.

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Where Horses Rule

As we buzzed across the inlet in the small boat, we could see the island in the distance. One of the few groups of wild horses left in the eastern United States lived there.

The captain turned off the motor and let us glide close to the shore of the uninhabited island for a better view of the horses. Many of us had cameras and binoculars out for a better view.

I watched as they peacefully grazed in the soft breeze, but wondered how they managed during the frequent hurricanes and strong storms. The secret would remain with them-today.

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The Black Swallowtail Mystery

 

I saw her struggling on a spiderweb on my son’s grave. Many times, I have seen Black Widow spiders there many times. Since I study spiders, I took it as a message, “I’m, here, Mom, I love you.” Now a butterfly was caught in a Black Widow’s web. I study Butterflies too. This must be a message,

Quickly, I released the Black Swallowtail butterfly from the web. I had to work to untangle the stiff web from her leg without hurting her. I wonder if she knew that I had saved her. I wonder what the Black Widow was trying to tell me, catching one of my favorite creatures for her “dinner”.

My heart, already damaged was beating hard. I was shaking. I had to kill the spider, I had no choice. What was going to happen? Was it good, at least for me, or bad-perhaps for someone else. I took a moment to recover. It isn’t easy to get up with a metal hip. I have to get into a position which is rather like a baby starting to crawl, find something to lean on-to help me rise up. My sons black obsidian grave stone.

“What’s wrong?” my son ask when I stumbled in the door, tears running down my cheek.

“I don’t know.” I mumbled. But something is.

All I can do now is wait for the Butterfly and black widow to reveal their message.

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The Theatre Flood

With the stage filling quickly with water, Zora didn’t know what to do. She’d lost her diamond ring and the lights were out.

He took her hand and carefully replaced the priceless ring.

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A Blossom in the Wind

It wasn’t difficult to remember the first time I had been to that old house.

My curly hair was drooping in pigtails, golden brown from the summer sun.

 My Aunt Lilly had whispered to me as we dried the dishes, “I have something I want to show you!”

 “Okay.” I smiled as we continued to work.

 Soon, we climbed into her 1966 white Ford and bumped our way a few miles down the dirt road to a drive way that looked as if had not been used in years. It seemed like the bumping and grinding of the gravel went on forever. Now, I realize, it was only a half mile or so.

 My aunt grabbed my sweaty little hand as we skipped up the chipping rock steps of a wooden cabin, paint long faded to the natural gray of hardwood. She took the key, clipped to her shirt with a safety pin, and unlocked the door.

 It smelled musty inside, and I giggled, ”Yuk,” as I looked up at her.

 “Houses smell like that when no one lives there anymore, Sarah. This is the house I grew up in. I was born here.”

 “But you live on the hillside, Auntie!” I protested. “We were just there!”

 “No, honey, I mean when I was a child, like you. This is where your mother and our brother Willie grew up.”

 I glanced around he room in wonder. It was a mess. The curtains hung down limply, so dusty that the bright sunlight filtered through as if it were sunrise. There was a desk cluttered with writing materials,a yellowed tablet, the edges of the paper curled. a pencil that badly needed sharpened. I noticed that one of the drawers was partly opened and reached to see what was inside.

 My aunt stopped me. “That as mama’s drawer. We weren’t allowed to mess around in there.”“But it’s opened ,Auntie,” I said “Why can’t I look?”

 To be honest, I don’t have a reason, Sarah.” I guess it is just my remembering how we were not to mess in that drawer. Obviously, someone has!”

 “Yeah,” I whined, eyes cat to the floor. “I sure would like to see what’s in there.”

 “Sometimes, Sarah, it is more fun to imagine what a drawer may hold than to actually know.”

 I shrugged my ten year old shoulders and smiled. In my young mind, knowing what was in the drawer would be much more fun.

My aunt and I spent another hour or so wandering through the room. We looked at boxes of old doll, metal cases filled with uncle Willie’s cars. My aunt show me how the pedal operated sewing machine worked, the drawers where scissors and thread were kept. I remember my favorite was the button drawer. In it was an assortment of buttons removed from many different items of clothing before the cloth went into the rag-bag.

 “Why did you bring me here, Auntie?” I asked her as we started out the door.”

 I saw a tear slide down her cheek. “Oh, Sarah,’ she cried. “I was thinking of mamma. It’s been ten years today since she died. We started clean the house , your momma and I and one day, we just didn’t come back. It hurt too much. It was sort of like the drawer, we decided we would rather remember the house the way it had been when she was there, when we were children.”

 That was twenty-seven years ago. I had brought my children there a few times, my mother and I had even come here with Willie one day to get some things out of the barn. But today was different. Today, a tear slipped from my eye as we walked down the steps. We had just buried Aunt Lilly in the family cemetery on the hill. Somehow, I felt a deep, almost mysterious connection with my Aunt Lilly as I looked up at the apple tree, bursting in bloom as if nothing had happened.

 Life changes, time goes by, memories are made, but somethings never seem to change. I snapped a small branch of blossoms and twirled them in my hand. I already had a place picked out for them-the would dry and remain on the inside cover of my Aunt  Lilly’s oldest photograph album. Someday, a young girl with golden brown hair would remember the story that her mother had told her that day.

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