Sunday, September 23, 2012
WARNING: PLEASE READ PARTS ONE AND TWO FIRST
The farmer came up behind his wife and extended his hand in welcome. He offered the man lodgings and food in exchange of some arduous task of stacking hay. The man agreed and followed the couple indoors for a meal of eggs, bacon and freshly baked bread, and finally a clean bed. Several days of rest, work and healthy wholesome meals later, the farmer offered to give the man a ride into town he was heading to for his weekly visit. The man agreed and hopped into the passenger side of the rusty red pickup.
The drive was pleasant with a cool breeze blowing through the opened windows. He observed rolling fields as if covered with vibrant green wall to wall carpeting with an occasional island of muddy brown, silos and farmhouses. Specks of chocolate brown roamed in the greens, alternating between tall, magnificent horses and stout, stubby cows. Wild flowers lined the road on both sides smiling their violet, lavender purples or sunny yellows.
In the town, the man went to sit in a deli while the farmer took care of business. A young, girl with flushing, chubby cheeks and a face that appeared to be always jubilant appeared before him to take his order. He smiled at her, accepted the coffee she poured and instantly disappeared into thought. A familiar feeling rose within him but he could not recognize it. That face, that smile, those bubbly eyes triggered something in him and he felt restless. Suddenly, a name popped in his head, Heather but that was not his servers name either. He retreated deeper within and tried to recall Heather repeating it over and over in his head.
Frustrated, he walked out of the deli, slamming the only bill he had in his pocket on the counter, his coffee left untouched. He walked the main street and soon found himself in front of a shop window that displayed bridal gowns. An image of a woman with white hair and smiling blue eyes, surrounded by exquisite gowns appeared in front of him. First time since his predicament, tears started to well up around his eyes. Above the shop he imagined he saw towers, lots of them looming over in the horizon. A whiff of ocean air reached him even though he was hundreds of miles inland.
Seeing a bus depot, he got on a bus heading east. Nobody noticed him and he found a comfortable seat in the back by the window. The motion lulled him into a troubled slumber as the setting sun behind him began to gradually wrap the fields into a shawl of darkness. His bleary eyes opened to the bright lights of a rumbling city where he got off the bus and walked aimlessly. The rumble in his stomach became louder so he walked into a 24-hour restaurant. An omelet and several cups of coffee later, he proceeded to walk out but was stopped at the door by a woman with a name tag on her dress. The man looked down in embarrassment, at a loss of how to pay for the meal and proceeded to offer the only thing he had on him of value.
To be continued…….
Saturday, September 15, 2012
WARNING: PLEASE READ PART ONE FIRST
As the sun rose to the sky radiating its brilliance on the vast land, the man spotted a narrow path on the side of the road. Tired, hungry and confused, he chose to take the dirt path. Within a mile, hidden behind an aged oak, he found a humble farmhouse. Climbing up to its porch he knocked on the door, but received no response. Peeking through the dusty windows he saw dishes in the kitchen sink, a jug of milk on the table and a chair pushed back. He walked to the sides and back of the house, past the cackling chicken coop, following the stench of a pig sty, stepping into something wet and soppy where he was surprised to hear a profanity escape his lips.
Before he could figure out how to get the stinky slush off his shoe, a dog bark reached his ears. He looked up towards the sound and saw a big, hairy mutt come his way. Unsure whether to run or hide, he stood frozen in his mucky shoes. The dog stopped in front of him and proceeded to sniff him up and down, his long, matted hair covering his eyes completely while his tail sat limp, unsure whether to wag or rise up in assault mode.
A woman soon appeared carrying a basket on her arm. Her dark blond hair was tightly pulled back into a bun showing off her wide, stern forehead. He noticed an ample bosom hidden under a homemade dress with tiny white flowers and something dark that he wasn’t sure if it was a design or dirt. At first, she stepped forward with caution and then a wide smile lit up her round face like the moon.
For a moment they stood staring until the dog began to bark again. He looked down at the creature and then at her, slowly taking a step back. He began with apologies, rambling about hunger and fatigue, the long road and the narrow path, darkness and light, fuzziness and clarity until finally he blurted, “I don’t know who I am.”
To be continued….
Sunday, September 9, 2012
A sliver of light split the earth from the sky gradually expanding its brilliance. Darkness around it receded, allowing colors to seep in. A man in a ditch by the side of the lonely road opened one eye. Surrounded by faded darkness he touched the earth around him feeling the wet sticky mud cool his fingers or sharp blades of grass poking his tender skin. As he tried to stand, his hand brushed against something soft and in the soft glow, a bright yellow weed glared at him.
To be continued……..
He brushed his pants and sleeves and climbed up to the side of the road. His silver hair shone in the emerging light while a salt and pepper shadow appeared on his face. He raised his left arm and scratched his head turning it from one side of the long road to the other. He looked back down into the ditch and tried to recall how he had landed in it. His head felt light and foggy at the same time, the past and future missing from its memory zone.
Crossing the road he felt the movement of his body comfortable, feeling fit and hungry. He sat on the side watching for a vehicle. In just a few moments he saw two small headlights heading his way coming away from the breaking horizon. He stood up on the roadside and waved his long arms over his head, around his body, all over slicing through the cool air. The car closed in on him, began to slow and just before approaching his spot, swerved away from him, sped up and was gone. He stood in the middle of the road watching one tiny red light flicker in its tail before disappearing into darkness.
The man stared after the vanished car, frozen in his big feet. His arms hung helplessly on his sides as he switched his weight from one leg to another. Running his fingers through his receded hairline, he paced back and forth. His forefingers probed his temples pressing harder to recall everything, anything. At long last he raised his head, looked up towards the gradual illumination that had started to radiate through the sky and the earth. He looked towards the light and began to walk towards it.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
WARNING: PLEASE READ PARTS ONE, TWO AND THREE FIRST.
One of Sira’s teachers noticed the change in this strong-minded little girl. Her two dresses had seams beginning to open and her frail body disappeared in the clothes. The twinkle in her eyes whenever she learned something new was beginning to fade. The teacher consulted with the school counselor and together they found resources to help in various ways. A social worker visited their home and finding the father sober, brought to light how their situation was affecting their daughter. The social worker acquainted him with the concept of workers compensation, food assistance, rehabilitation, and various other programs available to hardworking families like them.
Under the watchful eye of her teacher, Sira’s twinkle slowly began to return and she absorbed all that was around her with renewed determination. Familiarizing herself with the new systems, memorizing facts, developing awareness of her place in the world, developing friendships with like-minded peers, she became motivated to seek opportunities. Her determination to build a life that would be unlike her parents’, a life where she will outshine once again, Sira persevered.
Scoring a goal in the dusty soccer field of her home country, outperforming the boys of her neighborhood had just been the beginning of what Sira was capable of accomplishing. Circumstances or changes never held her back, in fact propelled her ahead with even more determination. Walking down the aisle to receive her college degree many years later, she looked around her peers and stood tall among them. From the stage she looked out towards her proud parents, who had shown her the way to opportunities and perseverance and thanked the teachers and counselors who had guided her towards the path of independence.
EDUCATION, THE ROAD TO FREEDOM!