Friday, June 30, 2006

Twilight (fiction...or is it?)

The Child sat at the top of the small hill, panting slightly from her exertions. The better part of the last hour had been spent trying to roll down the hill perfectly straight. But no matter how hard she tried to keep herself horizontal, her legs would beat her to the bottom of the hill. The soft, cool caress of the sweet grass was just fine, though, and perhaps tomorrow she would defy the laws of physics and roll down the hill just like a log.
For now, the Child was just content to watch the sky reveal the pinks, oranges and purples it displayed when it was time for the sun to say its goodbyes. She had tried to draw the sky once, the way it looked this time of day, but her crayons couldn’t capture the way gold became pink, then orange, and then impossibly purple. So she sat content, sunset’s glow lighting a face kissed golden by days spent exploring Grandma’s place, a face curious, babyish still and happy. The evening breeze teased strands of damp hair that had escaped the confines of her pigtails.
A shadow cast from behind the Child grew and grew, until Grandma herself eased down onto the cool grass. The Child looked forward to this time, her most special time with Grandma, when they would talk about the day’s discoveries: how the tadpoles in the pond were getting so big, the black raspberries they would be picking in a day or two, the daisy chain she had made. While the Child talked, Grandma would settle companionably closer, and kick off her shoes.
“My goodness, that feels wonderful,” as Grandma burrowed her feet in the grass.
“Do we have to go in now, or can we wait just a little longer?” the Child asked.
“Just long enough to see the Faeries?” Grandma smiled.
Now, the Child knew that the lightning bugs were just that, bugs, but when Grandma said they were faeries, you couldn’t help but believe her. She always had a way of making things seem a little more special.
They sat, watching the lightning bugs- or faeires, if you will- until the last of the light was nearly gone and the first stars were shyly appearing. At the sound of the barn door rolling shut, Grandma stood, slipped her shoes back on and held a hand out for the Child to take.
“Well, let’s see about supper.”
Later in the evening, after the dishes were done, Grandpa fast asleep in his chair, the Child lay in her bed, looking at a picture on the wall as she waited for sleep to come. The picture was of a little girl much like her, hugging an old rag doll that was missing a foot and eye, while a brand new doll with curls and frills and (she was pretty sure) two blue eyes sat without regard on the floor. Grandma had told her that the picture was called “Love Is Blind”, and the Child often wondered if the old rag doll was blind with only one eye, or just exactly what that meant; she was sure there was something she was supposed to learn from the picture.
Just then, her bedroom door opened and Grandma’s head peeked in.
“Still awake, Sweet Petunia?”
“Yes, but I was almost asleep, really, Gram!”
“Well, dear heart, I’m glad you’re still awake, because there’s something special I want to show you.”
Together they made their way to the back porch, and the Child was amazed! The sky was shimmering, pulsating with every imaginable pastel color, and when one long ray of light went out, another took its place. The Child had never seen anything so beautiful in her short life.
“Grandma, what’s happening?”
“That, dear, is the Aurora Borealis, but most folks call them Northern Lights. I haven’t seen them since, oh, I wasn’t much older than you, and in these parts it’s a rare occasion. I just wanted to make sure you could see them at least once with me.”
“They’re beautiful.”
“Yes, they sure are.”
The Child turned in her Grandma’s lap to face her.
“Gram, this is the best place on earth. I don’t ever want to leave here or leave you and Grandpa.”
And the Child’s grandma told her a very peculiar thing. That she could always be here, at the farm, with her, if she chose to be, no matter where she was. Even in the years to come, no matter what, she could be sitting on Grandma’s very lap, on the back porch.
The Child, knowing that Grandma could always make things seem a little more special, and sometimes even magical, nodded and snuggled in closer to watch those beautiful lights.


At 7/01/2006, Blogger Tammi said...

Truth or fiction - it's a wonderful story.


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