a note*

Everything I post here I have previously published on the many other blogs I have had. This is a place for my favourites to rest. These are the wings that taught me i could fly and that there is life waiting, far beyond the ridge.

If you care to comment, just drop me an email at grayhawk77@yahoo.com


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Journal

She was a strange child, after that, but really just a changed child.
And no one really could put their finger on just what made her so, but cousins and neighbors exchanged glances anytime she was mentioned.
It wasn't that she became bad or unmanageable, her teachers liked her, she always made her bed and ate her vegetables and her manners were impeccable.
She played like all the other children and even stole a cookie now and then when the chance arose.
But there was something just different about her.
It all began with the journal. Maybe she began with the journal
On an autumn afternoon when the leaves fell loose and lazy and her mother baked pies to Perry Como on the AM radio, seven year-old Adia grew restless and entered the storage closet.
Her bored eyes mooned lazy in their sockets as Adia began foraging through boxes that hadn't been touched in years.
Finding one box marked "sewing" on the bottom of a stack, she opened it and began to sift through fabric, zippers and pretty ribbons. Just as she was about to close it up and move on to a new treasure Adia noticed a notebook lying at the very bottom. The sun rose a bit in her eyes as she fished it out and turned it over. It was tied with a lavender ribbon and on the front, the word journal was scrawled.
As Adia undid the ribbon, a collection of old photographs fell out and floated free to the floor like the maple leaves outside the kitchen window.
That's when things changed for Adia, when aunts became strangers and her mother, a delicate flower.
Adia scooped the photographs up, stuck them back in the notebook, and stuffed the notebook under her sweater. She then put the boxes as they had been and went to her room.
Adia still ate her vegetables, still giggled when her daddy tickled her, but when goodnight kisses had been planted and nightlights encouraged sleep, she would reach beneath the book case and go undercover.
Eventually, Adia took the journal to the park where acorns lay dormant. Then to the vacant lot behind the Emerson place, and finally to the river bank where the current became a soundtrack.
And Adia became older, fresh in full bloom even as she watched her mother journey the other way, surrendering to time, gravity and monotony.
Adia's sea green eyes would grow distance as she would close the journal and wonder if her mother
had forgotten or simply chose to ignore. Correctly, she accepted that it was neither and contrary to
what psychologists would tell us, her love for her mother grew only stronger.
When her mother would have those moments when she was drying a dinner plate and her hands would slow, then stop and her eyes would see something far beyond the snow outside the window, Adia would imagine it was a soft wheat field she was seeing. A one time bed for two lovers without need for Perry Como.
On Adia's seventeenth birthday, her mother took her shopping to the mall over in Greenville.
As her mother drove, Adia studied her face, recognized a remembrance in the silent lines.
It seemed to Adia that an emptiness was bleeding through the car, out the door and onto the highway.
It was a silent heartache that needed no narration and at the mall, when Adia came back from using the restroom, she found her mother crying uncontrollably at the fountain.
Adia reached for her, took her, held her, rocked her.
But neither spoke a word.
That night, after her parents had gone to bed, Adia tied the pretty ribbon around the notebook for the last time and went back to the box, still where she first found it ten years earlier.
When she reached the bottom, Adia found a single sheet of paper and recognized her mother's handwriting. pulling it free and sitting on her feet as she had done so long ago, Adia read the words.
"Dear Adia, Thank you for being my friend. Love, mom"