Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Summer Memory


The grown-ups are in the gray-shingled schoolhouse at their meeting.

We kids explore the school yard, our little acre, newly strange in the warm shadows, the soft, deep dusk.

Yellow light falls out the tall windows like translucent oblongs from a butter press.

We avoid those rectangles, muffle our calls and our laughter, lest we be snatched from our secret half-world into visibility.

We bury our faces in the thick pile of the purple velvet night. We smell the summer.

We crouch in the rose thicket, behind the hide-and-seek tree, below the shoulder of the big rock. We whisper and giggle in sudden hollows and caves. All is larger than it was. There are more of us than there were in day time, in solid time. We always know that.

A whip-poor-will calls sweet from the black beyond the brook. The woods behind are deep-aisled, never-ending, not for a hundred miles, and we are safe in our enclave, our own soft, dark rectangle.

The fireflies dance and we dance with them.

Fireflies in our hair.
We are luminous,
light as air.
We spread our arms,
we can almost fly.
We are young.
We can never die.

27 comments:

kmfrontain said...

Oh, that's so beautiful, Bernita. :D

EA Monroe said...

Ah! To be young and magical.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh... *sniffle* lovely. I need some fireflies now...

Bernita said...

Thank you Karen, EA, Sonia.
Some twilights and dreams are like that, a certain wind, a certain light.

jason evans said...

Beautiful thoughts and images, Bernita. Each line is potent.

Ric said...

What a beautiful way to start the day!

Flood said...

We avoid those rectangles, muffle our calls and our laughter, lest we be snatched from our secret half-world into visibility.

I loved this because I remember knowing that if the adults didn't see you, they wouldn't make you wash up for bed. :) Great post.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason. You know this place, do you not?

Thank you, Ric, dear guy.

The conspiracy, unspoken and understood. We wanted to go to sleep smelling the adventures - not have the magic washed away. Thank you, Flood.

Alexandra said...

Beautiful and poignant, Bernita. Truly evocative, I was transported there!

Sela Carsen said...

Summer nights of childhood are the longest lasting memories of Nothing In Particular.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

How cool is that?

You're awesome!

...now you need some "orginial" art to put on the pages, so that the whole book is adorned with Bernita!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Alexandra. I sometimes wonder if all my writing is based on the desire to believe once again.

Memories are often only of summer.
Is there a reference here I'm missing, Sela?

Thank you, Bonnie...um...book? I do not understand...seems to be a dim morning for me.

Sela Carsen said...

Nope. It's just that I remember summer evenings out until all hours as a child like stolen time. I have no idea what we did, but even the most ordinary games became magical.

Bernita said...

Ah, thank you, Sela.
Remembering the sense of intense, suppressed excitement, I wonder now if our eyes didn't glow in the dark those evenings.

ali said...

I love that little poem at the end. And the whole thing is just very evocative. I still love being out at night.

Erik Ivan James said...

The sweet honeycombs of Bernita. There are enough to go'round.

MissWrite said...

That was beautiful. It brought the feeling of inspired youth right into me. I loved it.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ali. Me too. The mystery, the shape of things not quite seen.

Nice of you, Erik. Thank you.

Thank you, Tami. Glad it pleased you.Sometimes one recounts these things to safe-guard them.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. It brought back some memories for me too. I could smell the must of the oak leaves and dirt. Aaaaahh.

I want to ask, though, where have all the fireflies gone? Has anyone else noticed a shortage?
-JTC

Bernita said...

Thank you, JTC.
No, not this year. This year I was chained to the computer and they wouldn't let me out at night.

Anonymous said...
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Jaye Wells said...

Bernita, this was lovely. Especially poignant given the recent ragedy in Pennsylvania.

Jaye Wells said...

That was supposed to be "tragedy."

Spirit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernita said...

Thank you, Jaye.
One of those coincidences.
I wrote the piece last summer and decided to put it up before that incident occurred.
And I understand your Freudian typo. I felt rage over the incident too, and am glad the sonofabitchbastard shot himself.
Those who harm children should be - wiped.

Marie said...

Such beautiful words.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Marie.