A Long Short Story

The long fingered rays of the warm evening sun-brushed her cheeks with the softness of a dewy kiss in the quietness of the country evening. She strode along the edge of the woods, seeking calmness. The fragrance of the crushed ripe summer grass filled her nostrils along with the scent of wild daylilies as they closed their faces with the coming of evening. The rapturous beauty of this competing nature was filling her joyfully with the essence of sweet yearning for the coming night.
It would be a quick trip to Louisville, but the long year had ended, and the new life was about to start. At two o’clock in the morning, her soldier boy would arrive, via taxi at her Grandparent’s house; his tour of duty in Europe was over, and she was going to collect him and together they would shortly arrive at their home. They had been married less than a year when he got his call to serve and now was time to put their lives back together, welding the temporarily broken cord back into wholeness, so that the seam would so effortlessly blend, no scar of separation would ever show.
It was time to make promises of caution to her Mother, put gas in the Plymouth, lock the doors, and head north-east. The sun was now releasing its hold on the day, casting a pleading glow over her shoulder and soon the headlamps would be needed. Purple shadows mingled in mysteriousness with the dark green of the cedars and puddled in the dips and crevasses of the rolling hills. A strange peace filled with loneliness and expectation filled her heart.  At times her fingers would tremble with excitement on the steering wheel.
The music on the only clear AM radio station was of the sentimental country genre. She turned it low and let her thoughts soar and take her on a side trip through the future as she drove the familiar back county roads to the big highway that would take her to the flow that endlessly poured into the looming city. “What would their future hold? Where would they be in the far distant time, say five years? Would family grow, would love last, would they still be the perfect fit as they grew to be an even stronger “one”?”
The music soothed and lulled from station WHAS, the songs in her head changed often in tempo, rhythm, and emotion, the miles passed. Finally, she was there, it was deep in the night in the little upstairs room on Magnolia Street, She was sitting on the window ledge, and the taxi blew its horn…
They were the same, they had not changed. God blessed mightily!
Life happened so suddenly, it was breathtaking. I all but spin and have to sit down when I think of the speeding time, the blur of memories, the milestones that can only flash by. Love was multiplied over, over, and again, children, grandchildren, exploding change, sameness, new experiences, old memories relived, all happened in two or three heartbeats. We had thoughts of “strong health, vibrant life, and continued love going on forever” till we were surprised by weakened bodies and changes so subtle that often we ask “What has happened! Who are we?”
Yes, even the love has changed, the blush of fresh love and the sharing of the same breath and thoughts of an earthy heaven has deepened and become a thing that has a life of its own, it depends on each of us for its being, and we depend on it for our being. It is composed of endless compassion, of two minds and desires that think and act as one. It is a remarkable blessing from God, when we find after a lifetime of laughing, crying, spatting, growing, and startling changes, yet we are “one” and are so more each day.
It had been 58 years since the night time trip to Louisville when my eyes were fastened to the dark roadway lit by yellow lights, while the eyes of my heart were fastened on the end of the road that held my future. I could not have had a better trip, anyway I look at it.


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