I’ve decided to do something new this week and join with other writers at The Red Dress Club and throw my hat in the ring, or my words on the page. However you want to look at it…
Today’s prompt says this:
“imagine that after you have died and your daughter/son will be given the gift of seeing a single five-minute period of your life through your eyes, feeling and experiencing those moments as you did when they occurred. What five minutes would you have him/her see? Tell us about them in the finest detail”
Now, this certainly is not the most monumental 5 minutes in my life but this place has many memories for me and this it is what came to mind first so I wrote it…
I open the creaky and dusty screen door and step out onto the old wooden porch. I let my pinky finger slide off the wooden frame and the door makes its usual startling CRACK! sound against the house.
The smell of dried maize and the cabbage growing in the garden fills the air and my nostrils, as I take the two rickety steps that lead to the ground. The hard, dusty ground.
It hasn’t rained in weeks and the earth is screaming through its cracks for water.
One of the farm hounds rounds the corner, his spotty tongue flapping side to side out of his mouth and dripping like an old faucet with saliva. I know he wants to follow me into the field. He heard the door and knew someone was up for an adventure. He can probably smell the sweat dripping from my back too.
I can still hear the deep voices of my father, grandfather and uncles from the parlor as I make my way through the rusty gate. My grandmother just left the room after filling their glasses of iced tea to the brim and I slipped off of Dad’s knee, knowing nothing of the politics they were discussing.
Once “Spot” and I are on the other side of the gate the feeling of freedom washes over me like a much welcomed warm shower stream. I can hear his panting behind me as I make my way through the tall row of sun-burned maize in my stained and worn Keds. All the sudden he stops short to bury his wet nose in the dirt. I leave him behind.
I walk as fast as my chunky ten year old body will go, anxious to come out on the other side of the crops. As I emerge, the light blue sky, with nary a cloud in sight, surrounds me in every direction and the warm sun graces my face, warming me instantly. I am blinded by its wonderfulness.
Earlier that spring, my cousins and I came here together to pick bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush and other assorted wildflowers and when we returned to the house we put them in a Mason jar and made them the centerpiece for supper time. And then while we sat at the table and ate, I saw my Grandfather through those same flowers, slopping up his gravy with a warm, homemade roll. Eating like he hadn’t eaten in a week.
But today I was here, in this field alone and I was fine with that. The only flowers on this scorching day are a few of those little yellow ones that look like mini sunflowers. I pick one and gently tuck it behind my ear as I lie down in the grass and close my eyes.
I think of Heaven and what it would be like to go there. I think of a day when maybe I wouldn’t have to wear glasses anymore, as I wipe the sweat from the bridge of my nose. I think of how hard my grandparents worked to have this farm and home. I think of how I always wish we were closer. Even just a hug would be nice.
And then I feel “Spot’s” wet tongue on my nose and I roll over giggling to myself, just inches from the hot bed of fire ants.
I stand up quickly, hoping I did not make them angry, grimacing at the thought. I dust off the south Texas dirt and weave back through the hot, dark rows to the old house with thoughts of that cool, lemony ice tea. I hope the men haven’t drunk it all and I hope that today might be the day for that hug, just as I do on every visit.
p.s. this is my 1,000th post. how crazy is that?!?!