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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: The Revolution of Riley Jane Downs
By Wendy Stewart-Hamilton
07/30/06


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Riley bit back her frustration as the wrench in her hand slipped forward causing her knuckles to grate against the biting metal of the tire she was changing, taking bits and pieces of her flesh in the journey.

“This was so much easier when Da’ did it and I watched.” Riley said out loud to no one in particular.

She looked up to catch the first shades of the sun emptying from the sky to awake on the other side of the world. She waxed poetic and thought about lost loves, lost goals and the little gal who waited for her at home.

It was silly enough, perhaps, to name her daughter, Ceili, after the traditional Irish celebration; but she was a celebration. All jittery and bouncing while growing inside of her that one was. Riley placed her hand to her flat belly in remembrance of her daughter’s dancing and then groaned as she flicked hopelessly at flecks of road dirt and tire grease left behind in the gesture.

“Aye, such is the way with you, my Ceili, causin’ mischief even when we are apart.” Riley said as her eyes twinkled in thought of her child.


Riley tightened the last of the rounded metal devils and was on her way to Ceili still thinking of her little Irish lass.

It had been five years since Ceili had begun to dance outside of her womb rather than in it and only a little bit more since her beloved Grayson has passed. It used to hit her like a mountain of stones that Ceili never got to see her father play the flute and watch him dance a gig across the floor; that she never got to feel his touch and rest safe in his arms. If Riley would let herself she knew that she could get lost in that darkness instead of realizing that somewhere within her Ceili knew him. His music hummed to her when she was being formed and Ceili knew him. Riley was sure of it. As to hugs, Riley often gave Ceili more than enough for the both of them. Ceili was a contented lass, who found joy in the simplest things and love in a multitude of many arms of friends, family and neighbors who adored her kind and generous spirit. And spirited she was, that Ceili, like a young colt flouncing through the fields, leaving not a poppy or a dandelion unaffected by her very energy for life.

“All things work together for good to them who love God and who are called according to his purposes.” Riley thought about the verse. She thought about her recent conversion to Christianity. No more Hail Mary’s or confessionals with someone else, Riley Jane Downs had a connection she didn’t have to work for – it simply was. For that she was grateful.

She had thought she had lost all with Grayson, but Ceili was an ever present reminder of the greater work God brings to a life, how He renews it, restores it and even revolutions it. Her world revolved around Ceili and the heavenly gifts her being there brought her.

Riley had known the aching desire of loss and the fullness of arms blessed by the birth of Ceili. It was in these things that she knew that God was working for good. He was working monumental changes in her; an Irish Revolution that made sense and cost her nothing but words of praise and thanksgiving for God’s hand on her life.

Riley pulled into the long drive and saw the bouncing blond ringlets tinted with deeper red tones of Ceili. All things work together for good to them…who are called according to his purposes.

“Mama! Mama, you’re back! Oh, how I missed you. I have so much to tell you!” Ceili spun in graceful circles around Riley as she walked towards the house where everyone was waiting inside.

Riley heard the first strains of a flittering Irish tune coming from inside, a favorite of hers and grabbed Ceili’s hands and looked deeply into her daughter’s eyes – Grayson’s eyes – and together they spun in light-footed revolutions around the yard in their own celebration formed by gratitude, sheer gratitude.


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Marilyn Schnepp 08/05/06
A lovely story of a mother's love, and the acceptance of all things working together for good; and is very well written also. Thanks for sharing.