The Mind

The red door is shut, the handle, polished steel. It begs to be opened.

I turn the handle to enter, brave. The room is cold. Two chairs stand in the middle of an Oriental rug. One is empty. A child, stares back. I have seen her face before. A forgotten photograph found inside a weathered cigar box.

A wild- eyed, willow wisp. Her moon- face stuns the dark. Emerald eyes glitter. A stubborn curl falls over one eye, as if to shield her from the world. Freckles dot the bridge of a tiny nose, claiming the familiar landscape of wide cheek bones.

My hand reaches forth.

It is as if she has waited an eternity to place her palm in mine. 

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Draft Two

Excerpt From A Scene

Free Write

As December blows near, you hear it whisper, “Go. Find the magic.” As the temperature drops, you find yourself choosing people and moments to warm spirit and heart. You wonder if magic truly does exist.

It’s as simple as coffee with a friend, an impromptu gathering, or an hour spent wandering the holiday aisle. It’s soy wax, melted and poured into glass salmon jars. It’s a phone call, or a message that reads, I’m thinking of you. It’s holding your mother’s hand.

She looks at the basket, filled with moss and bulbs, and asks, “When did orchids become so intimidating?”

You smile, knowing, she speaks the truth. Direct and honest, her words make sense. The scale has changed to bigger, more, and most. You wonder, too.

December softens us. We’re captured by nostalgia, pulled deeper into self reflection. Sparkling lights, tree tops stacked outside the hardware store, woodland ornaments, hung from a rack, stir memories: beautiful and sad. We long for that which is simple and true. We wonder.

There’s beauty in sorrow. It’s a shivering soul, asleep on cement, as a stranger tucks a blanket. It’s a late night phone call followed by tears. It’s a sunlit morning, an outside invitation, a rogue stratus cloud. Staged and still, the cloud opens. Snowflakes tumble, soft and raw. You glance up, as cold, warms your cheek. You stand alone and wonder.

In a wordless moment, you’re struck by gentle force. It is a presence, which you can’t explain, an unwavering comfort. You are certain.

It’s ‘Bambi’, watched wide- eyed, as a child. Midnight and a mother. She slumps and straightens. Her fingers feed velvet cloth through a machine, determined, as she forms a dress for her daughter’s doll.

Years later, seated in a wheel chair, she will speak of an exact moment and comment, “All I ever wanted was to be a great mother, to own a dog, and have a home.”

You take her hand. You say she is the best mother and remind her of all the beautiful memories and simple moments you witnessed sacrifice. You understand that love is kind, and speak of lost December’s surprise: father attaching a cedar and candy cane wreath to the front door, the anticipation of gathered family. Minutes later, a Cadillac pulls to the curb. Doors swing wide. The Great Aunts, alight. One plucks a cane from the wreath and winks. Patent heels click. Furs drop. Joy dances through the rooms. Later, two children, dressed in velvet, snuggle in mink. In another room, ‘Julie London’ plays on the stereo. Crystal clinks.

December is an opportunity to dust off the crystal and turn the vinyl. It’s the pause in a busy day, to hold space, for another. It’s the month to remember and reunite. Our mission: collective goodwill and a promise to lift love above hate. It’s the season to resurrect your inner child, to believe the impossible is possible, and to honour wonder.

It takes patience to procure the perfect cup of coffee beginning with the French beans to the water’s roll. Next, is the slow pour over and finally, the decisive press.

Take pleasure in the art. It’ s a ritual allowing time to be.

Rain hits the pavement. Leaves dance in the wind. Somewhere, in the distance, a door slams. A wind chime rustles. A baby cries.

I am still. Peace waits within sips of strong coffee.

The first taste is always too hot. The last, too cold. There is a moment between these two extremes, the sacred space of seeded memories, whispered prayers, the spot where lovers meet.

You say, “Come to me.”

We are in Paris. You take my hand and lead me to shelter, far from the storm.

The Art of Coffee In The Rain

draft