I have had a bad couple of weeks. I don’t know what you think of romance writers, or “Christian” writers, or all your expectations. I only know I write what is next – what God gives me next and what my life calls for next. I am far from perfect – far from any role model. I’m just a preacher’s daughter (that should warn you off right now – lol) and I am now a 46-year-old woman (yes, I have to get new pics because the ones on my website are getting to be about eight years old!!) who has – thank you very much- been married, as of this fall 25 years – which IS a big accomplishment. My sons aren’t perfect – we aren’t perfect parents – we’re dealing with young adult stuff as I write and that is testing us big time!!!
But, a big part of me is a lover of stories, my whole life, that’s been the case. I love creating characters and they, let me tell you, are like children and have a mind of their own! My stories aren’t meant to teach or change lives (that’s too much pressure on me!). If God wants to use my stories to teach and change lives then of course He can! He gave me every line and jot and tittle, except for the bad ones. I owe Him anything good that has come from me.
I hope you enjoy my stories. I put my time, sacrifice, laugher and tears, and all my heart into each one. It’s a costly business and I’ve wanted to quit often. If it weren’t for my wonderful fans and their encouragement I would go and get a job at XYZ company and make a lot more money for my family than I have been!!! But since you all are so great and encouraging . . . here’s my latest attempt at greatness for you :-))))
Green growing upon green.
As far as the eye can see – rustling green.
Lush . . . this land. This land where I was born.
Rock and hill
path and stile
ascending mountainside, over craggy sway and scrabble earth
Up and up…to the edge of heaven
Loud-glorious this land where I was born
Proud against dawn’s coming light.
My eyes look up, my breath so quick and fast
I inhale – a sharp and deep sensation though my lungs. My breath reaches to my stomach where it quivers against the intense beauty. My gaze sweeps across my childhood landscape. Did I really run abandon in such a wondrous place of hill and valley, the smell of pine so sharp and clean, the air as pure as fresh fallen snow?
The land glistens with dew. Up, up the earth climbs toward the water’s gushing head. The waterfall, arcobaleno, “lightning bow” beckons in the distance as it cascades, breaks free from rock and gushing gravel, spouting up and out, down and down, flowing finally to a gentle lake which I know from my many exploring adventures divides into three frothing streams and a rushing river that will finally spill into the distant depths of the sea.
I turn and blink from the light – both the brightness of it and the piercing of my memories. Divots of sun and shadow beckon, the curves of the earth undulate beneath the hillsides as far as my eyes can stretch. It breathes, this green, like waves, only in every shade of emerald and turquoise and chartreuse, stirring over covered stone and pebbles and dirt, smelling of moss and earth and earth returned creatures.
My sisters and I, we know of rock and dirt, those hard places that only give when you pound them, the elevations that steal our breath when we climb them, but we know too of the heart-stopping beauty that beckons us, calls us, comforts us when we are weary or afraid. We know this green because it lives deep in our bones, our beings, in our sleep, in our dreams. It has been the foreground of our lives and, as you will see, the background of our story.
This is the land of Everyoung.
I stand upon the familiar path heading up the hill toward the distant church spire peaking over the hilltop. The path is light and spongy, soft beneath my slippered feet. A deep fragrance of moist moss and evergreen lifts to envelope my breath and causes me to smile. I stop and turn in a slow circle. It’s been five long years since I’ve seen this place – our magical hill land and the two-story, yellow-hued stone house that glows rosy under the sun. With its lush trellises covered thick with ivy and terra cotta pots of pink and purple geraniums, the cottage beckons imagination, promises peace and tranquility. Everything about it is soft, as if a constant mist hovers, turning the light just so and blurring the hard edges of reality. As I cast my eye back over it, I tilt my head against the flood of emotion. Had it always seemed sprinkled with fairy dust and magic? Even never knowing my mother, had it really been so perfect?
My gaze roves lovingly over the dark stained wood and wrought iron door, its shape like a pointed archway. Nothing has changed. My father has kept if perfectly since we left. The door leads to a long hall, a winding stair and many rambling rooms. There is a dark creaking floor made from ancient hemlock with black grooves and large nail heads driven in to hold it firm. Worn smooth by our running feet, echoing with our laughter, it is as warm as anything of good character. I can still see the nooks and crannies, the secret spaces of my childhood, some deep, some narrow, filled with the gentle fittings of girlhood. My room was crammed with blossoming interests – fragrant, fresh-picked flowers and herbs overflowing from colorful pitchers and vases and bowls, dresses I adorned with ruffles and roses draped from hooks and chair backs, dangling pairs of ballet slippers, a basket of soft yarns and a deep purple coverlet thick with down that covered my poster bed to ward off the deep chill of night. The posts were draped with gossamer hangings that awakened with the wind from oversized, curtainless windows that sang an eerie song at night, the whistle and shriek through the cracks in those windows made my spine shiver with excitement. I buried myself under the thick pile of covers, my nose peaking out and reddening with cold, but I didn’t notice. There was a sense that the world was alive beyond those windows, in that wind, and that something terrifying and wonderful awaited me outside my bedroom walls.
And it was true.
It had all been true.
My gaze traveled up to my father’s window and a deep sadness gripped my chest, causing tears to prick my eyes.
I had come home . . . to the most beautiful and lonely place in the world.