Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter's Warmth and Strength


As the moon first knocks at the window she slices bread into thick pages to be placed in the toaster, cracking eggs into a bowl, dinner a simple omelet and tea.
The house is quiet, her man far away working for a few days.

Outside, the world is quiet, the four walls around her corralling her in, even as she is free to leave. There is still much to do, clothes fresh from the drier to be hung up, the remnants of her supper to be put away for morning. On the floor, a black lab twitches in his sleep, swimming against the impending night.

Outside, somewhere far in the distance a coyote howls. She looks out into the darkness, into the ancient and inscrutable face of the night, seeing nothing, knowing that does not mean nothing is there. The light faded, the wind brisk, the flow of the outside lights, small incandescent intervals of safety around the house, challenging anyone to come near.


Her chores completed, she turns on some music and sits by the fire, the lights off, the curtains open so she can keep her eye on her world. She's not afraid of the dark, not with her firearm and her courage, a mother bear who will defend to the death her home and her life. Behind her, a small lamp stammers its light, the shadows tossed upon land on which glaciers once slowly roared. From the distance she can hear the sonorous waves of sound from the woods, floating out to her, the cry of an owl, the yip of a predator. The sound builds, merging with the sounds inside the house, a soft laugh, a bit of a song, a resonance both subdued and rich, rising and retreating like a harmonic tide.

In a vase, a single flower, small and delicate, watered by hand, carrying its scent into the home. Water here this time of year is as rare and precious as love. When it falls, it falls in huge drops that seep into bare skin, wetting the formally barren ground, soaking in deep with the weight of an astonishing gift.


She looks delicate, but she is not, having seen both the drops of water and drops of blood that fall on the foreheads of the innocent. She is not unaware of the dangers that being a woman alone can pose, predators seeking defenseless prey, even in small, quiet towns.

But she can live no other way, hope laying on her, like snow on the ground, the conviction of unshakable faith of what she lives for and what she will fight for. She is aware of the weight of her weapon on her, feeling herself rushing back in time, without anything in her now that was born of seeing the world as it lay, not the vain imagining some wished upon it.

She touches the steel of the small pistol that sits in the pocket of her robe, resting against hips which have borne more than regret. It lay under her fingertips with the warmth of readiness.

- Brigid

22 comments:

North said...

Warmth and protection played against the cold and fear.

One wins.

Old NFO said...

Well said, and stay safe in all ways...

45er said...

Wow.

stopsign said...

Always in awe of your writing.
Thank You

nate.mckenzie.aouc said...

It just feels better when you feel safer, doesn't it?

Josh K. said...

Sigh...

Ed Rasimus said...

You've outdone yourself today. Masterful!

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

Beautiful writing as always...

Dann in Ohio

Chip said...

I know you have said that you write because you like to and feel the need to put the words down, but I wish you would put them in a collection. I'd buy that book for sure.

Don said...

Beautiful, as always.

P.S. Enjoyed Sunday.

PISSED said...

Very Nice Brigid.. your writing brings the reader right into the house and sits them down and makes them feel comfortable.

ajdshootist said...

Written from the heart!

agirlandhergun said...

45er sent me a link and this mornig when I read it I just cried. Tonight, I smiled. You are so, so talented.

Brigid said...

Agirl - God gave me the brain and the hand; the heart was crafted by my parents and my life. I simply use the tools I was given, as we all should.

Thank you.

MSgt B said...

and you stop by and tell me MY writing is good?

Ha

You are too kind.

Alan von Altendorf said...

As the moon first knocks at the window she slices bread into thick pages

Wham!

Goodness gracious [polite version of reaction]. Whenever you feel like it's time, there is no one and nothing stopping you from setting American literature on its ear. Look at us. Look at the 6 million page hits. You know it's true.

Alison said...

the contrast: dark and light, warm and cold, safe and unknown... you say things with such vivid strokes that it shines in my mindseye. My goal is to feel that weight in the pocket of my own robe, and that knowledge in my own self...

Sherry said...

I totally agree with one of the other comments here. You need to publish your work. It would be a guaranteed best seller.

Brigid said...

Thank you all. I'm not sure I'm at a point where I could do a book, posts are easy with my schedule, a book not so much. Maybe after Dad is gone (which hopefully won't be for a while) and I'm not pulled in 10 directions on all my big chunks of days off.

Josh K. said...

Brigid -

You don't owe us anything.

Do what you want!

Jim said...

Beautiful. As always. You are so gifted.

Skip said...

Y'all sure do write purdy.
Who loves ya kid? [about a million]