Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Walk With Florence

Florence eased out onto the landing that led to the path. The path would eventually lead her to her most favorite area of the property. The early morning treks down the path grew more physically difficult every day, but emotionally Florence felt compelled to make the effort. Though somewhat arduous, the daily journey had become necessary.

The power of earth scents threatened to overcome Florence's senses. The early morning chill had Florence pulling her wrap a little bit tighter about her shoulders, but she was not daunted. She would not be denied this ritual. Taking one last look around the once pristine, now over-grown garden, she set off tentatively but resolutely down the well-worn path.

Though Florence’s memory fails her often these days. However, she never fails to re-call the slight slip, the near fall of some weeks ago. That recollection trains her to take it slower and easier especially as she approaches the curve a bit further down the path.

It will take Florence the better part of an hour to reach her destination. But, in her mind and in her heart it is a trip well worth taking. The kids, all grown up with kids of their own, don't come around much anymore. That thought and the ache that travels with it nestles in the pit of Florence's stomach. The daily destination will soothe that ache, erase those thoughts.

Slowly and as surely as she could possibly step, drawing nearer to her destination, the pulse quickened and the breath labored by the exertion, begins to slow and calm and that familiar sense of tranquility begins to take shape. The path ends suddenly with a slight step-off, opening to a clearing, awash with light and at this time, warmth from the sun high above.

In the middle of a clearing stands a fountain, dry and crumbly. Next to the fountain, a bench, just as decrepit. However, for Florence, the sight and the joyous times that traveled with it nestles in the caverns of her heart joining the sun to provide heat and warmth. Florence removes her wrap, places it squarely and gently upon the bench. She takes her seat and spends the rest of her days gazing at the water-less fountain.

*for the weekend wordsmiths exercise.


  1. this is very touching ...

  2. Wonderful!
    I could smell the earth!

  3. There's a scene in "The Stand' where a very old black woman feels compelled to make a trek of a mile or so to a neighbor's farm to slaughter a chicken to feed a bunch of people she can only think are coming....and Steven King's writing is no better than this. Same lyrical tension, but your destination is far far better. Nice work.

  4. Oh, and SK's old woman is someone you'd never THINK would be the embodiment of hope for a new generation and a lynchpin of humanity's survival, being as how she's a sharecropper's wife and all.

    I wonder what Florence's backstory is?

  5. This is an absorbing vignette that manages to paint the mood of the old woman. Makes us want to know her story more..

  6. Nice post. Absorbing.


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