Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GATHERING (07/14/16)
By Laury Hubrich
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The world is falling apart.
I can’t take any more.
From bad to worse to horrible.
My heart is heavy.
I do the unthinkable:
Shut the television off.
Silence the phone.
I’m drawn to the backyard.
I stretch out in my hammock.
Just in time, I’m rewarded with a dazzling display of colors splashed across the western sky. The sun then nestles in just so, on the pre-harvest field of corn. While there, it calls each beam home by name.
Ray after ray.
Resilient tendrils begrudgingly release their hold. Soon they gather one last time for a most spectacular sunset of orange, edged in blue and purple.
After the show, the sun dips below the corn. I almost miss its playful wink when it pops back up one last time to say goodbye until tomorrow. I close my eyes, trying to forget the sorrow.
Something lands on my nose.
Cross-eyed, I see a bug blink its tiny light. I reach up to catch it, but I’m too slow. More bugs dart in, and then, just out of reach, light up as if begging me to play. I shake my head no. Lazily, I drape one leg over the edge of my floating bed, setting it into motion.
A gentle breeze drifts over me.
Floats around me.
I breathe it in and pause…
I nestle deep into my colorful cocoon.
Calmness sets in.
Tiny lights dot the ever-darkening yard creating a fairyland. Between the branches, the stars twinkle and a few fall to complete the wonderland. I reach up, trace the Big Dipper. I smile. For a second, I’m that little girl who believed the ladle held grape Kool-Aid.
If only I could get to it, take a drink.
It must be the lingering memory of the sun’s rays, or the pull of those twinkling stars, or maybe the brave little bugs flitting before me that remind me of my childhood and hope filled summer nights - when neighborhood kids gathered. We jumped rope, played four-square. We rode our bikes without fear of strangers. We caught lightning bugs just like these - imprisoning them in jars. Holes in the lids so they could breathe. We set them on nightstands, mesmerized until our eyes grew too heavy for anything but sleep.
Children with no worries.
I can’t ignore it any longer. I succumb to the summer kaleidoscope. Forgetting my age, I jump from the hammock. Sun’s stray tendril clings to me, pulls me backwards through time. I’m eight again. I chase the flickering lights, catch them until my hands are full.
Until my heart is full.
This space of time.
Everything put back together.
Full of hope.
Full of promise.
His love radiates.
In the air.
And in my heart.
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