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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

TITLE: Together At Heart
By Therese Witkus


Together At Heart

The night was starry and cool, a relief after the warmth of the day. The drone of night insects and the little flickers of light from wandering fireflies, made a peaceful backdrop to the casual gathering of good friends. Friday evenings were often a space for feeling the move from the busy weekday routines to the changed tempo of the hectic weekend activities. Occasionally, a drop-in sort of event just seemed to happen and here was one of them, now.

Megan sat on Jim’s patio with a few friends, hearing the conversation and enjoying the dancing firelight playing on the logs in the firepit. The topics flowed into one another; children and family news reached into work issues, the tales of people at the workplace branched into how the business world and commerce fared, which sprouted into the government’s responsibilities and then the nature of politics jumped to the current affairs as most recently told on the news, finishing with their various weekend plans. Clearing the snack plates and glasses, they said their “goodnights” and drifted on to whatever called them.

Glad to be home, she sank into her easy chair pulling a soft throw over herself, and wondered why she had only listened tonight. She couldn’t fathom making no comments, sitting among the group offering only her presence, without any feelings or thoughts on the topics that arose. She cared about these friends; good people, close in age with similar backgrounds, talking about everyday life. And she did have ideas.

In fact, a lot of ideas floated around in Megan’s head; tiny motes of thought, at times caught on silken strands of passing conversation and brief readings, to be considered later. Other times, just the flash of a sentence through her mind could form a picture and evoke sudden and powerful emotions, passionate feelings, or actions.

A smile formed as she recalled her letter campaign to the pastor when she heard that some folks wanted the parish hall off limits to teen functions.

She was accustomed to the vagaries of thought and had even written about them to God, in her prayer book:

My thoughts are as gophers today, most dear One.
They scurry through unconscious mazes
and thrust heads unexpectedly out into the sunshine
and then, just before they might be really seen,
they slip out of sight and into the dark,
moving away.
No matter,
they are bound to come again another day
when I am able to sit so still
they will pause long enough to be seen
before I frighten them away.

She mentally shrugged and put the matter away in the attic of her mind. There was more to fellowship than just being with people. She was likely missing a point somewhere in all this.

A few weeks later, on a windy, cold and damp Saturday afternoon, she dropped in at her friend Emily’s apartment to collect items for the clothing drive. A married couple and a young fellow from the neighborhood were also there, on errands and visiting. Megan was welcomed into the living room and handed a steaming mug of tea and a plate of home-baked cookies. After Emily introduced them to each other, they picked up the thread of the conversation.

“Sue and I are looking for ideas on topics for the couples weekend coming up. We agreed to lead the Saturday evening discussion on Faith-sharing for Two,” Tim explained. He told about the advice offered by the pastor and some seasoned couples who had done earlier sessions. Megan offered to check with her church office for materials. The conversation moved to the outreach mission at Emily’s church and the young man, Steven, shared his story of campus ministry efforts at the nearby college he attended. Talk of bachelor quarters reminded Megan to ask them for their favorite recipes as the parish was beginning a sequel to their fundraising cookbook and they needed new material. They laughed about bake sale mishaps each had encountered over the years.

With her errands and chores done, Megan busied herself in the kitchen preparing dinner. While she peeled and chopped, stirred and simmered, she hummed to herself. She had enjoyed meeting Emily’s friends and sharing about projects and activities. Something tugged at her mind as she thought about what a chatterbox she had been today. She couldn’t quite get hold of it but knew it would come to her, as soon as she had time to sit and think.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 10/18/07
I like the little journal entry, the free verse poem...I think all shy people must feel that way.

I'd like a bit more about why she changed from the first scenario to the second.

I liked this, and felt great empathy for your character.
Joanne Sher 10/21/07
Great atmosphere and sense of place. Your descriptions are lovely.
Donna Powers 10/21/07
I was struck by the serenity in your main character's soul. This was a nice character sketch, and the story evoked a peaceful feeling. Well done!