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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)

TITLE: Life in the Virginia Creeper
By Helga Doermer
11/22/05


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A cheerful chorus of chirping filtered through my dreams. The acappella choir crested on a crescendo and woke me from my sleep. One bleary eye opened to register a predawn grey. The clock flashed 4 a.m. With a groan I rolled over and closed my eye again. For just one moment the temptation to close the window surfaced. But my body was resistant to rising from my bed. Irritation at the unnecessary rousing warred with fatigue. Fatigue won the struggle. The bird song faded. A wave of lethargy reclaimed me in the ocean of slumber.

Three hours later, morning sunlight spilled across the room. Already a stifling summer heat was rising, dissipating the cool night breeze. To safeguard our home from the increasing warmth, I rose to close the window. On the other side, birds were quietly fluttering in and out of the thick vines clinging to the rough stucco on the facade of our house. Their nests were tucked in the sheltering niches of the entwining vines of Virginia Creeper. It was home to them.

***

Morning sunlight spills across the room and wakes me. Already a stifling summer heat is rising, dissipating the cool night breeze. I rise to close the windows. On the other side, all is silent. Heat blazes against bare stucco. The vines have died. The nests are gone. The cheerful acappella chorus of chirping no longer sounds in the predawn. Without the vines to abide in, the feathered community had nothing. The birds have flown away in search of another home. The facade of our house has become a deserted wasteland, a vertical white desert.



Inspired by John 15:4-5 NRSV
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 11/29/05
Excellent writing! Descriptions that can only come from the pen of a Writer with a masterful way with words. My only suggestion, (and I may be wrong) instead of asterisks, what about "six months later", or "one year later". I was just a bit confused at another awakening so soon after the first one; but, what do I know? (smile) It's lovely! Kudos!
Wendy Stewart-Hamilton11/29/05
Have to agree with Marilyn, the astericks are distracting. Think of an elegant transition "another season", etc.

Great perspective and audience draw with your visual imagery.
Anita Neuman11/29/05
I can definitely relate to that first paragraph! Thanks for the thought-provoking comparison of the lush, sheltering vine and the "vertical desert". Good job!