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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purple (11/05/09)

TITLE: Lavender Hill
By Kevin Hussey


I stood there alone, caressed by that familiar gentle breeze, watching the commotion of daily life at the open-cast quarry. There was a pang of sadness in my heart but as I stared intently into the mine my face was slowly drawn into a gentle smile as I recalled the many happy times this place had given me.

It was known locally as Lavender Hill due to the abundance of the sensual purple flower that inhabited its shallow sides. Well it sounded so much nicer than its official name of Wiggin’s Brow. As a young girl I would spend most of my weekends up there, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. Either way I passed endless carefree hours frolicking and skipped through the blooms and the breeze as the flowers gently swayed along. Occasionally I would sit and simply watch the bees and the butterflies dance between the small purple flowers, or better still lie on my back looking skywards at the passing clouds whilst basking in the relaxing aroma that emanated from my surroundings.

It was on one such occasion whilst I lay all alone on the hill that I found God. I had been going to church with my parents my whole life and would diligently listen to the words and stories I was being told, yet I always felt that there was something missing from me, something holding me back. I wanted and desperately tried to believe yet it was just not there. That late summer’s day changed everything.
The sun was gently warming, the light swirling wind refreshing, yet strong enough to scatter the occasional petal across the meadow. The sky was a glorious rich blue with fluffy white cotton-wool clouds drifting slowly across the great expanse. As I lay there at peace with the world I felt something warm and pleasant touch my heart. Suddenly it all made sense. Everything was so perfect, so wonderfully crafted and put together I could feel God’s love rain down. I lay there for a few minutes soaking it all in before getting up and running all the way home to tell my mother what I had found. We sat there crying in happiness hugging each other tightly until we eventually broke from the embrace to dry our eyes. I instinctively used the sleeve of my blouse to wipe away the tears only to inhale another deep breath of lavender which had infused itself into my clothes just as God’s love had been infused into me.

The decades passed, yet I still returned time after time to the footholds of the hill to remember the gift I had been given. Sometimes I would think about the times I danced and played with my friends and on other occasions I would recall the Saturday afternoon routine of picking a handful of the lavender to take home to mother who would place it in a vase on the table ready for Sunday dinner in remembrance of the bond I had found with God. Of course the passing of the years now meant I could no longer skip and jump like I used to, and my parents had both since passed on. Somewhere along the path of time man had also decided that the limestone beneath the hill was worth more than its natural beauty and so the machines had moved in and slowly cut away at the landscape. A small tear formed in my eye as I turned away and started to walk back along the path where I noticed a small clump of lavender growing inside a little crag beside it. I reached down and picked a handful, just like I had done as a child, and brought it up to my nose to inhale. Once more the scent brought a smile to my face and a thought flickered into my mind. “Let them have the hill,” it said. “You still have your memories.” It was right. They can cut away all they like, but no matter how hard they try they will never manage to mine God from out of my heart.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 11/13/09
I could almost smell the lavender:) Love your last line.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/13/09
What a beautiful story! And you can always have the ever available scents of lavender to sustain that sweet memory!
Brenda Rice 11/15/09
This is well written with great imagery. I smelled the lavender and I was very touched by your rememberings. The last line was a bonus. Thanks.
Judy Webb11/15/09
This is a beautiful story of coming to knew Jesus in a wonderful way. It rings very true. You write well and I hope to read more stories by you. Good job.
Carol Penhorwood 12/15/09
Well told. I too loved your last line!