Roll On, Thunder

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Love life and all things in it. Learn to sing along with the music around you. Live like you were dying tomorrow.

Submitted: May 21, 2011

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Submitted: May 21, 2011

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She sits on her front porch day after day, painting on an old easel propped up against the corner of the porch railing. The house in which she resided was quaint; white with blue shutters, just like she wanted it to be so many years ago. It seemed like time had swept away lots of things with it, but there are always a few exceptions.
Out here in the country, away from the city, there was one tree that she had grown old with. It was as old as dirt, but it didn’t show physical signs of aging at all, except for the fact that it was tall and a home to a colony of bees that buzzed in and out, working endlessly to make honey just for the pure enjoyment of it and the happiness it brought.
She was outside most of the time, staring at the perfect rhythm of the wind blowing the grass and trees, marveling at the way lightning struck the earth like a powerful chord in a song. But there was no way to convey all of these thoughts, whether beautiful and welcomed or harsh and unwanted, on paper. She only kept the real thoughts hidden away in her mind. She tried to paint about her life, but nothing could compare to the memories she had in her mind. She had learned to keep the thoughts locked away inside soon after her husband passed away almost 25 years ago. The memory of him still stung in her mind, of course it would, but years of staring into the small waves of the river which always kept a steady tempo beside her house had washed out the pain just a little.
Erich came down every month or so, which temporarily pulled her out of the song-like, whimsical world in which she lived in. To Erich, the place where his mother spent her days was just a place; nothing more than trees, a river, grass, frequent loud, banging thunderstorms, and an old rackety house that she should have moved out of years ago to come live with her son and grandchildren in the city. He saw it that way, as just a place. But she saw it as a wonderful, magical place where she could let her mind run wild, even though she couldn’t physically run wild through the field at her age. It was also a secluded place, miles and miles away from the city, a hideaway.
Erich came once again to try to convince her to come to the city and live with his family, who sometimes came along with him to visit. He wore a suit and tie, and was always in a hurry to get back to work, a businessman. Today he looked over and saw that she had recently painted something. He went over to look at it.
“This is beautiful, mom.” He had long ago given up trying to persuade her that her paintings weren’t as spectacular as she thought they were and described them to be. He just told her it was exquisite, or something of the like, and then waited for her to explain what she would make out of the five or six black lines painted on a blank canvas.
“It’s the whole world. Can’t you see it?” She pointed to a blank space beside one of the black lines. “Here’s Paris, made up of all kinds of people... black, white, blue, green, architects, businessman, and even old artists like me.” She glanced up at his thoughtful expression which knew where she was going with this conversation, then back to the painting. “Here’s America, Canada, Brazil…” Her frail finger pointed out different countries, invisible to Erich, but vivid and alive in his mother’s mind. “All of them are different, but that’s what makes it all beautiful. Especially here,” She smiled as she motioned out to the land all around her,” I can’t leave this place. I know you think there’s no place like London, but to me there is.”
“Mom, I’m only concerned about your health. What if you got hurt all the way out here? What if no one knew and they couldn’t find-” He stopped mid-thought and changed the subject slightly. “I just don’t see how you want to live here. It’s a death trap. I know I was born and raised here and you and dad lived here, I understand that connection you have. But, you’ve lived here an extremely long time, I think it would be safer for you to come live with us now.”
“It’s not all about outward beauty; that will all pass away. It’s just about what you make out of this that makes me want to stay. No one slows down and looks at the world around them anymore. Once they realize that they need to slow down and be thankful for the creation around them, they’re already going on to the next life. I don’t want to do that. When I see this old house, I don’t see broken wood and chipped paint; I see memories of my life. When a thunderstorm comes along, I don’t sit inside and wait it out, I come and make music out of it. When I see the fireflies buzzing all around, I make art out of the beautiful picture I see. I have a marvelous painting of fireflies, by the way.”
Erich chuckled at the last comment. “I understand, mom, I really do. It’s just that, it’s not safe out here. I love you and I don’t want you to be in danger when I can do something about it.”
“I love you too. More than you know. I just can’t, though. I belong out here, I’ll be ok.”
“Well, I have an appointment I have to get to, mom. I’d say you won again with that last comment.”
“Just like always,” she said with a smile. “Same time next week?”
“Of course. Maybe I’ll finally win.”
“I doubt it.” She chuckled, and then turned back to her painting of the world, seeing all the different people in a perfectly clear image before her. Erich drove away in his car, learning to love his mother and her point of view more and more.


© Copyright 2020 kathrynannabelle. All rights reserved.

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