|A View From The Garden (standard:fantasy, 816 words)|
|Author: Cyrano||Added: Mar 04 2012||Views/Reads: 3997/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Looking out beyond yesterday. Another hour with Lori.|
I'm looking out on a clear day; the first in a few, with a sky swept clean of cloud. The ocean, as far as can be imagined, is without malice. To the sailor in me that's a good thing. I have a bulkhead of memories in my brain full of tempestuous seas. My father was at home on the waves, but by his own admission he always felt a slight unnerving twitch when his vessel was caught in the trough; having almost free-fallen into a dark blue valley, and shuddered violently hitting the bottom of the crest. The sea, he always said, takes those who love her most. “Mr. Frank...you there?” It's a voice I've come to know very well, having taken up residency in my heart. “Hey Lori, sure I am, want to come over?” “Help me with the gate, Mr. Frank.” Lori pushes as I pull. She burst forth and years off my life simply glide away, not because the child is angelic, not because she is without imperfection, an eye is cast, but because her young limbs stretch out, freeing herself in my garden to begin her games. It's always the same game; life goes on forever. “Hurry, Mr. Frank. Or you'll miss him!” “I'm coming, Lori. Miss who?” “He'll be gone an hour from now.” Lori's hand is reaching out to mine. “Well, we'd better hurry then.” I said. Mystery is all there is to mystery, unless you count on the coming of it. As her tiny hand fits into mine the heart is transported, winging through a hole in the mist and overhead toward a hill that wasn't there an hour ago and will be gone an hour from now. From our vantage point I can see his vessel as clear as a Monet. Some men turned for home when the winter came, he did not. The sea held my father as surely as the shawl of ribbons held him at home. He cared nothing of the adverse implications that dogged mere humans; his blood was diluted with the salinity of the ocean. He taught me that the most ‘hostile' environment is the one we ourselves live in and not the barren, hard, savage places. He never asked me about writing and quite honestly I never had much to say about it, how I do it, or even why. My father was never a difficult man to deal with; nor hard to please. He just made happiness a habit. “Why did you bring me here, Lori?” I ask, shading my eyes from the burning in the sky. “I didn't bring you here Mr. Frank.” She says... a petal on the grass. “He did...” her arm risen horizontal, its directing finger as sharp as a stab to my soul. He was my ocean and my stars, my God and all his heaven. Before the first day of school we took a picnic down to the harbor, thick with tourists, the air's fragrance sun tan lotion and ice cream. We sat under the harbor wall, in the cool shade, and I paddled around waiting for dad; he was busy searching between the rocks, but I caught the expression on his face — an excited, gleaming smile as he came wading in to the water, his hands holding sea shells and sea pebbles. In the evening he told me stories about the mighty seas, describing those deep-sea fishes, those black, those blind creatures, un-acknowledged, but living all the same. I enjoyed the summers but far more, the winters — when the tourists had gone home, leaving us to cope with the prevailing winds, floods and storms that were an integral part of costal living — and when the sea was at its most powerful. “Hold my hand, son.” I smile and move toward him, taking hold, feeling its strength, knowing all its work, and its beauty. “Put these in your back pocket, lad.” It's a moment, an hour long. Lori holds her hand open, raising it to me, a child befriending a man who has the unique ability to lose himself in a mist that covers his reality. I have protected myself well. I will always be what I write; be made happy, sad, rich or poor, I am just what the words say and no longer feel any ambition to prove otherwise. In the garden, Lori is holding something in her hand. “What do you have there... in your other hand, Lori?” I ask. At the gate she holds open her hand. There are seven seashells; the same seven seashells that sit on my desk in the study. I pull open the gate. “Seashells.” “No, Mr. Frank, the man who gave them to me told me they were Continents.” My work gets done. Life moves along and there are times – a few minutes every day – when I forget about Dad. Well, maybe less than a few. Tweet
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