Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Making his way forward, he lifted each foot and placed it down to a steady rhythm that moved him inch by slow inch through the thick green underbrush of the forest floor. He stopped for lunch under a tender leaf, enjoying the light breeze and hot sunshine. Legend called the unexpected warm weather “Indian Summer.” He didn’t care what it was called or why it existed, only that he was living during this time. It would undoubtedly be the highlight of his short life. This was his thought as he sat munching on the crispy veiny portion of a leaf.
Lost in his desolate thoughts of a life practically unlived, he didn’t see the moth flit to a branch near him. She stared at him intently, her blue eyes searching his profile, hoping to see the same blue reflected back in his eyes. “Excuse me?” she finally spoke, her voice a whisper carried on the wind. He looked up for the source of the soft vibrations that tickled his smallest hairs. The vibration was new, yet somehow familiar.
“Who’s there?” he called cautiously, pulling his leaf in front of him as if it could protect him from a dangerous predator.
A small ripple of joy went through the moth at his reaction to her voice. He caught the slight shaking of one of her grey and black wings out of the corner of his fifth and sixth eyes on his right side. He kept those two eyes on the wing and stood still waiting for a response.
“You can see me, can’t you?” she asked gently.
Slowly, he turned, sensing that whoever was speaking to him meant him no harm. “Yes, I can see you. Who are you mistress of the night?” he asked, showing respect for the beautiful creature that had hailed him.
She looked down, more fully in his face and saw the piercing blue eyes of her husband staring back. “What is your name young one?”
“We caterpillars have such a short life that it is usually more effort than it is worth to name us. I can only tell you that I am a Geometridea.”
“No name? That seems cruel and unusual. What kind of parent would not name their child?” Her voice came harsher. The disappointment was palatable and it tasted strange to the caterpillar. He had been disappointed with the length of his life, but this disappointment was personal to the moth and yet, strangely not aimed at him.
Carefully, he constructed his answer so as not to distress her further. “Mistress, it is not thought a personal assault to the children. We grow up only knowing the concept of a parent, not the reality. We are grateful to be born at all! So short a time we have on this earth, it would be piffle to entertain naming any larval. There is much to be done in merely choosing to bore us here that everything else must come secondary to that lofty goal.”
She sat silently, considering his words, feeling her heart beat lighter than it had since she left her chrysalis. She desperately wanted this amiable caterpillar to be who she believed him to be. “Let me ask you another question, a very personal question. Where did you hatch?”
Proudly, the caterpillar raised himself. “Mistress, I was laid in a most beautiful place. I woke beneath large green leaves that tasted sweeter than anything I’ve found since. In the middle of the leaves was a purple bulb of leaves. It was dense and filling. I could not imagine a more beautiful place or one that would provide a sweeter start to life. If my parents were alive, I would owe them a great debt of thanks for thinking of me so well.”
At this, the moth shuddered violently. The caterpillar was concerned and began to move himself toward the low lying branch. He twisted his body gracefully over a root and around a few fallen twigs before beginning his climb up the slender trunk. It was a rough climb, something suited for an experienced contortionist; something that all caterpillars can claim is one of their primary strengths. The sun set and the moon rose before he reached the branch she sat on.
“Mistress,” he called softly. Thinking he had left, she turned, surprised he was so near and her body rocked once more with a shudder. “Mistress, what is it that shakes you so?”
“Oh sweet boy,” she cried, a smile buried under her tears. “You, my child….” Her hesitation seemed to last forever. The caterpillar stood frozen to the spot, looking deep in her eyes and into a future he couldn’t yet comprehend. She began again, more assured of herself. “You are my true child. And I am what you will become.” She beamed at the surprise and wonder in his eyes. “Of all of my larval, you are the only one whom I am delighted to call my own, and as my own, you deserve a name. Your name shall be Zabbai. I cannot give you any greater gift than this my dear.” Spreading her wings, she welcomed his strong embrace and melted in the warmth of his fluffy hair. Together, they dined on the branches moist leaves and talked about life’s opportunities, even the short ones.
*** A challenge on swap-bot. My words were: caterpillar, desolate, weather, piffle, amiable, contortionist, and fluffy. ***
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I felt like a tea pot, tipped this way and that, emptying my hot emotions into any available cup, and then set back down to simmer some more. How could this have happened? How could they have lost my son? Combing through the details made the little hope I had of seeing him before the next day evaporate into little steam clouds. My anger and frustration continued to rise like mercury in a thermometer. I was ready to blow the whistle and bring the inept airline into the limelight. I'd serve them up brewed, but without sugar or cream.
Then he called, my sweet little boy. "Mommy?" he said. "The lady told me to tell you we are on the right plane now and will see you in an hour." With those few words, my anger dissipated and I knew the long wait was almost over.
*** Daily Writing Practice ***
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Michelle sat at the dining room table cutting chicken into bite-sized pieces for her children who were being none too patient. "Mark, could you...... What are you doing?" she asked as he sat oblivious to the demands of the kids while shaking his new phone in sharp circles.
"I'm doing what my phone told me to," he stated with a big goofy smile as he showed her the compass face on the screen and began to explain how it was calibrating to True North.
"Yeah, well your phone is about to text you this message: Help your wife or you'll find yourself buried 6' due South."
*** Daily Writing Practice ***
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
On the other hand, he was full of smiles and expectation at becoming a' kid'. He couldn't wait to put on his special clothes and carry his backpack or eat in the gym. He was well practiced for the morning rush and energetic about the crisp morning walks. Nothing could stop him from rushing into the experience and succeeding. Readiness was a stage he had passed long ago and now only moments brimming with possibility sat before him.
The morning came, his alarm blaring for his attention to no avail. Quietly I reached out and tapped him gently at first, then mussed his hair, and finally shook him until he was bothered enough to be minimally alert. Slowly, he crawled from his bed and down the ladder, walking directly to the dresser to silence the harsh beeps. He turned off the alarm clock.
His attention fell upon a brightly wrapped package just behind the alarm clock. "Is this for me?" he asked to no one in particular. He pulled it down and began to unwrap it. First a shoulder seem showed and then the gray under material of the neck hole. The wrapping fell tot he floor, replaced by a smile that lit the room up more than the sun. "It's a Star Wars shirt!" he shrieked, waking his sister.
Hugs were passed around and then he dove into the script. Dressed and bathroomed, we all sat down to breakfast. Warm Cinnamon Rolls were pulled out of the oven and iced generously. Glasses of juice clunked noisily on the table. Breakfast cleared away and setting heavily in our stomachs, we brushed our hair and teeth before putting on shoes and the already filled backpack.
Proudly he led the procession down the driveway and up the hill. Soon his steps slowed as he realized this was no longer a dress rehearsal, but his first stage performance. His father caught up to him and extended his hand. They walked together, father slightly ahead for a few blocks. Johnny lagged behind, being pulled along like a reluctant water skier. The building came into sight and his confidence slipped further.
I took his hand and lead him further on. Through the single door and down the hall we stumbled with all the other families. Finally, we found his classroom and he entered with great regret. His teacher greeted him warmly and he sunk. "No. I don't want to do this."
I lifted him up and made him an unbreakable promise without rainbows but with just as much certainty. "I promise you can." He went through the paces with little commitment. Sullenly he hugged me, his face still clouded with doubt. Again we walked hand-in-hand to a table and sat down to tackle the first task.
I whispered that it was time for me to leave and tears sprung to his eyes instantly. "I promise you can do this. I know it is scary and hard, but you are bigger than this." The tears began to fall, his head hung low. I gave him a soft kiss. "I will see you a little while after lunch. Look for a special thing in your lunch box," I said and then left the room. I glanced back to see him slumped over and a tear shining at the end of his chin.
"How did it go?" his father asked.
"He's crying, but he'll be okay." He nodded, sharing an understanding of the child we both had. He would survive. He'd even excel. The beginning was always the hardest part of the journey for him. But from there grew all the rainbows of his future.