Monday, July 09, 2012

July 9 - Gather around the fire

This idea is so central to the community of the time period I'm writing about, it's almost too obvious to write about.  I immediately started to think about the idea of a hearth.  How fire was where people gathered at night (instead of a television).  How it was where the day was sorted out or stories were told.  I wanted this to be a place where the speaker and her son could build a history.  Here is my draft:

Life Gathers Around the Fire

The breeze that gathers today whispers in the bay and oak leaves of the forest that surrounds the orchard.

I am walking the rows. Looking at the way the bulbs swell on the tips of each branch. Small tart orbs ribbed with red stripes.

Harvest looms ahead. The sweat and then relief of it.

Tonight the fog doesn’t come in and Joe and I sit outside off the porch tending an open fire and watching the stars slowly emerge.

We gather around the fire and tell all that has happened in the day.
The Allen boys with their news of town.  Who crashed their buggy on the racetrack.  What opera is playing in the opera house in town.  Who has fallen sick or died.

Then Joe leans back placing his strong arms behind his head and says. Tell me a story Ma.

And I giggle.  It is the same story each time.  Another chapter out of the Odyssey.  Only we don't stick to the plot.  In our version, Odysseus never did find his way home but continued journeying on.

Island to island.

And so it is each night and so it has been since he was just a boy. I dream up another island out of air and we step upon it under the starry night.

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