She rode the galloping white stallion, her raven hair trailing in the wind. Nothing calms the spirit like a ride in the coolness of the morning, Emma thought. From her vantage point on the hill she looked out on the sweeping green valley, a valley she had come to know and love. Uneasiness once again seized hold of her; Samuel was long over due.
She was leading Stally into the dilapidated barn, as the squeaking of the old iron gate announced the arrival of her two rambunctious children.
The smell of fresh baked cookies mixed with the aroma rising from the bread on the wood counter, gave the kitchen a warm coziness.
“Miss Bailey gave the fourth graders a big assignment.” Meg rocked on her chair. “We have to write a paper about being thankful.”
“Good luck; there isn’t much around here to be thankful for.” Wolfing down his third cookie had not sweetened Sammy’s mood.
“Being thankful starts in the heart, and I’m sure you will do fine, you’re a great writer.”
She ran her fingers through the silky dark curls that framed her daughter’s face. “Uncle John will be here around supper time.”
“I love Uncle John.” Meg beamed.
“You like the gifts he brings,” Sammy shared a piece of his cookie with the dog.
“That’s enough, chores need to be done.” Barely twelve, but her lanky son tried her patience.
The uneasiness of the morning continued to plague her thoughts as she peeled potatoes for supper.
“It’s Uncle John’s carriage.” Meg raced out the door.
“Hello princess.” John lifted her into his arms.
“Come and visit with the kids while I finish supper, and after they’re tucked in we can have a nice chat.” Emma found comfort in John’s being there.
With her mug of steaming coffee she chose the chair across from John, the flickering flames added warmth to the room.
“When was Samuel due to be home?” John stretched out his long legs in front of the fire.
“Several days ago, he…probably found more work. Tell me about you and the family.” Her emerald eyes betrayed the worry she felt.
“My time is greatly consumed treating patients. Elizabeth sends her love, and our James is engaged.”
“I take it the lucky girl is Sallyanne? They grow up too fast.” She glanced toward the loft where the children were sleeping.
“I think I’ll turn in, and Emma, in the Morning I’ll ride out and look for Samuel.”
She hadn’t remembered the creases on his brow, and with the graying of his hair he looked even more like their father.
Outside she wrapped her arms around her narrow waist to ward off the chill. Gazing up at the stars, she felt closer to God.
“Please bring my Samuel home, I love him and want him here with me and the children.” She longed for the sound of her husband’s voice.
With the first light of dawn she gave up searching for the shelter of sleep. She made a fire and started her morning chores. This will give me more time with John, she thought as she placed a pan of biscuits in the oven. She heard the dog barking and headed outside. In the distance she saw a rider, and placed a hand above her eyes. “Samuel?” She ran toward him, as cries of fear escaped her lips at the sight of her husband slumped on the back of his horse.
Hearing Emma, John ran outside, they helped Samuel down and into the house. “My black bag is in my room. This arrow must come out right away and this bleeding stopped.”
With a heart soft as a rose petal, she hung on to her husband’s words.
“I felt the burning rip through my body, and by some miracle I held on. The horse followed the trail with little help from me. No idea why they didn’t pursue me; I could have easily been overtaken.” He wrinkled his brow as if trying to make sense out of his own story.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me…” Emma’s voice lowered a few notes as she recited from the twenty-third Psalms.
“This is what Mom meant about how being thankful starts in the heart.” Sammy headed outside, his dog followed close behind.
Emma smiled; it would not do for someone to see tears in his eyes.
Psalms 23:4 NKJV
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.