Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BROKEN (12/06/18)
By Holly Westefeld
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The first rays of dawn illuminated the shards of her great-grandmother's blown glass Christmas tree, which had survived the turbulent voyage from the old country, and made its way through the generations to the mantle of her electric fireplace. She still cherished vivid memories of it glistening in the candlelight on the mantle of Nana's stone fireplace each Christmas when she was a little girl.
Hearing voices in the hallway, Marilyn unlocked her door and stepped out. Her new neighbor, Peter, turned from the cluster of neighbors. "Are you alright, Marilyn?"
"I'm fine, but the blown glass Christmas tree my great-grandfather made for my great-grandmother for their first Christmas was smashed to smithereens. Does anyone know what happened?"
"An earthquake, apparently," Lena imparted.
"But we don't have earthquakes here!"
"Apparently we do, every hundred years or so," Lena rejoined.
Peter stepped away from the group. "I'll get a container and help you gather the glass."
"No need." Marilyn tried to swallow the lump in her throat as her eyes brimmed. "I have a broom and dustpan."
"That won't do. I'll need every shard, and some would get stuck in the bristles."
Marilyn looked at him quizzically.
"Oh, I guess we hadn't gotten as far as my occupation. I am a glassblower."
She shook her head in wonder, as Peter ducked back in to his apartment, returning quickly with a large canister and two tweezers. Marilyn led him in to her living room, switching on the overhead light. They assessed the field of debris, then knelt carefully and began gathering the shards.
Marilyn described the tree to Peter in minute detail. "Do you truly think you will be able to re-create it?"
Peter's brow furrowed. "I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I could, or would even attempt to duplicate your great-grandfather's work. My thought was to blow a new piece for you, to preserve the original glass, rather than have it tossed in the trash."
"Oh... I don't know... You could still make a Christmas tree from it, right?"
"I could, but I think you would always be comparing it to the original."
"I suppose you're right."
"Please trust me to make something beautiful for you."
"I'll try," Marilyn said with a wan smile.
"You know it will take a few days, so it has time to cool slowly so it won't crack due to thermal stress?"
Marilyn nodded, then started. "I hope you didn't lose any of your work at your studio!"
Peter smiled. "If anything is broken, I will just re-form it, too."
Peter closed the canister, and Marilyn walked him to the door. "Thank you so much!"
"Perhaps you should reserve your thanks until you see what I blow," he said with a glimmer of a twinkle in his eyes.
Marilyn readied herself for work, unable to dispel the sorrow over her loss of the family heirloom. Focusing on her work over the next couple of days was a challenge, but she hoped no one noticed.
She had just put her breakfast dishes in the dishwasher Saturday morning, when there was a tap on her door. Through the peephole, she saw Peter with a box in his hands, and opened the door. "Good morning, Peter. Please come in."
She indicated the sofa, and he placed the box gently on the coffee table. "Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?"
"Not today, thank you."
Marilyn sat beside him, eyes on the box.
"Go ahead. Open it."
With trembling fingers, Marilyn lifted the lid and folded back the tissue paper. She caught her breath. "It's beautiful, Peter!"
They both gazed at his craftsmanship, as the morning sun refracted on the glass. Peter stirred, pulling a wall anchor, hook and tools from his pocket. "Do you know where you would like to hang it?"
"Yes, yes I do." Marilyn rose and indicated a spot on the wall opposite the front door. "I've been meaning to find something to hang here, but hadn't gotten around to it."
Peter made quick work of installing the hook. When he stepped aside, Marilyn lifted his handiwork from the box, situated it securely on the hook, and stepped back to marvel at the cross.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
2 Corinthians 3:18
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. NIV
In loving memory of Gwendolyn Ziegler.
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