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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)

TITLE: The Stroll at the End of Twenty-Five Years
By Jim McWhinnie


We strolled as young lovers through the park on the night of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. An inconvenient cover of clouds had stolen from us the dream of a moonlit walk beneath a sky full of stars. But we would make do with what the good Lord had provided.

The threatening rain had chased away the more casual strollers. The winding path through the maples was ours and ours alone. Oh, there was an owl keeping watch on the tall maple beside the statue of some founding father. There was a band of racoons scouring the trash cans near the picnic benches. A stray cat, a sizeable calico, was padding her way home from a night’s worth of mouse hunting. But outside of these regulars of the night shift in the city park, we were alone.

I wore my comfy denim shirt with the long sleeves half-rolled up; she wore that heather and grey wool sweater that cuddles her face. I wore my blue jeans now with a skoosh more room; she wore that tartan skirt with the fancy pleats. I wore my deck shoes and she wore her Capezios for I once was a minstrel and she once was a dancer. And in our middle age enchantment, we both still were.

We took our time walking this meandering lane, slowing to remember a memory to share, quickening to laugh and to chuckle ... and to be thankful that days such as those still brought us great joy.

We took our time living this hour of life, this hour that was twenty-five years in the making. Quietly moving, gently moving along this trail of old-fashioned street lights. First one on the right, then one on the left, alternating in turn the work of casting misty light upon the sidewalk. We would pass through a few steps of light and a few steps of dark, a few steps of light, a few steps of dark. That stroll we took that night got lost in the time that exists in the timeless realm, the realm known as lost in love.

I hope heaven has a quiet park where one can stroll in the gentle light of being in love. Yes, I would like that.

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This article has been read 635 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/29/09
This is totally lovely. I hope the judges recognize the excellence here!
Lollie Hofer05/29/09
The prose in this piece is sooooooo poetic. You make a walk in the part romanticly (sp?)delicious. Your descriptions were rich. Thanks for sharing this lovely piece.
Genia Gilbert05/29/09
Sweet and refreshing! Thanks for the message of simple love and memories.
Allan Morelos06/02/09
This is a great way of encouraging our "silver" wed couples to keep their love for each other alive. It's refreshing. Thanks.
Mona Purvis06/02/09
I just love this so much. So real, private, sweet, descriptive. All about the relationship. My favorite this week.
Glynis Becker06/03/09
So sweet and beautiful. I love the softness of it and I suspect heaven will be a bit like this :) Great entry.
Patricia Herchenroether06/03/09
A lovely, sweet entry. You transformed a simple walk into a thing of great beauty. Thank you.
Janice Fitzpatrick06/03/09
Such a tender and intimate piece, not in a sensual sense but with beautiful words and memories. Such a stroll would leave me wanting to walk this pathway to eternity...what a enrapturing piece hon. Lord bless your talent.
Rachel Rudd 06/03/09
Wow! Yes, they are some really beautiful descriptions here that just place this poetic prose in the excellent class. Wonderfully done!
I love the celebration of love after 25 years. My husband and I are going on 9 years this summer and we love each other more now than we did when we were first married. God is good!
Sara Harricharan 06/03/09
Ooohhhh! Lovely and romantic! I liked the last line best of all the descriptions of thier outfits, this had a dreamy sort of storytelling feel to it. wonderful!
Carol Slider 06/03/09
Very gentle, very lovely... I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful and personal story!
Colin Swann06/03/09
A good romance. The sort of romantic stroll we like to remember. Very enjoyable. Colin
Mona Purvis06/03/09
I'm back to say again how truly wonderful this piece is. I wanted to read and savor again. Unbelievable, your writing style and voice.
Catrina Bradley 06/03/09
A very calming piece, filled with peaceful love.

A hint: Try to avoid beginning sentence with "There". It's not technically incorrect, but causes you to add extra, unnecessary words, and your sentences are stronger if they are reworded - for instance in your second paragraph, "Oh, an owl kept watch" - your noun is now "owl" and "A band of raccoons scoured.." Your noun is now "band" instead of "there".

Nitpicking aside, I absolutely loved this stroll. Nice. :D
Chely Roach07/19/09
What a gorgeous piece of writing I have stumbled upon here. This was so real, so warm; as cozy and comfy as her heather grey sweater. Loved it...