The Woods

The Woods

The Woods, image by Lex

She had perfect feet. Not too big. Not too small that she would totter. Her toes were long, long enough to grasp her pencil when it rolled off the table to escape as she set it down to take a sip of coffee. The kitchen table tilted ever so slightly missing one pad underneath one leg. That made just enough difference for her toes to be engaged in the process of writing her daily laundry list.

The first thing on her list called for a bus ride. This was easier said than done.

She lived past the far edge of town. Not all the way to the woods, but almost. She always wanted to live in the woods. She asked her mom if they could and her mom always answered no. It wasn’t an angry no. Just a simple no to end the discussion.

But what if mom said YES?

Many a night she would lay out near the edge of the woods looking up at the sky drawing pictures in her mind of what it would be like living the woods. Gossamer clouds erased each adventure to create a blank slate for new ones to be imagined.

But that was long ago and wasn’t for right now.

She was older now, much older, and she was so far from anywhere that she would have to take a bus to catch the bus to get to her appointment.

Now she carried a responsibility bigger than she was. She knew she had to be on time, if not early. She had to be ready.

She counted her coins to be certain there were enough for a round trip just in case there was no one to bring her home. She was wrapped in her warm scarf and coat, held an umbrella in case it did rain as was promised, packed an apple to eat on the second bus, and slipped her perfect feet into her perfect comfortable shoes.

The box was prepared earlier in the day. She didn’t want to forget anything. And even though the box held all she needed for the meeting, it seemed weightless. When something is important – no vital – it could almost float by itself. Which she was sure it did at times, but she never told anyone of this.

“Alright, then!”

She said to no one in particular, but to anyone who happened to be listening.

“I think I’m ready.”

She listened for an objection. None was had. All was magnanimous. She was ready and that was that.

She arrived at the exact second the first bus did and was promptly whisked away.

Maybe it was the wind coming through the crack of open window where she sat in the last seat of the bus, but she thought she heard a great sigh of someone or something bidding her a farewell.

She smiled.

She, too, loved her house near the woods and felt a bit of a loss each time she left to town. But she was needed this eve along with the all the other wise ones. It was her time to be there.

And she could hear her mother’s words that were the words she heard from her mother who heard them from her mother and so on and so on and so on…

What the elders see sitting, others can’t see while standing on their toes.

Author’s Note:

Our lovely Afternoon Writers met this past Tuesday. We missed a few dear friends this month. Much love and many hugs to them.

We now each bring a sentence and a word as our prompts. We choose how we use them, or even not use them at all. We write for a half an hour. Then we share. What a wonderful time of community we have here listening to each others voices come through words that enchant and humor us and bring a tear.

I am gathering small shots of place and character and events to work into a larger piece of work. I love this process. Someday…
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Here are our prompts for the afternoon. Joins us! We would love to read what you wrote.

What the elders see sitting, others can’t see while standing on their toes.

The town of Gros Ventre was so far from anywhere that you had to take a bus to catch the bus. I carried a responsibility bigger than I was. From Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

They arrive over the wise distances on perfect feet. From If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie

What if mom said, “Yes?”

Gossamer
Escape
Magnanimous
Weightless

4 thoughts on “The Woods

  1. This is a very dark woods, but with two spaces of light, one near in the undergrowth and one far in a dense grove of trees. It feels simultaneously mystical, magical, and wonderful. d

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