I am pleased to share with you a tidbit from my latest work, soon to be released ~ “Winter’s Fire”
The road swings upwards to the right ahead of me with heavy, snow laden pines clinging to the steep incline beside it. They are whitened and blowing streamers of misty ice in the gusts of Winter’s breath that howls down from the mountain heights beyond. I have traveled this route before and know that I am nearing the summit. I sigh as I feel the ache of being too long behind the wheel. I look forward to stopping at the next town ahead; in need of a break, a stretch, and a good cup of coffee. Sure, I could have taken the interstate and by-passed the difficulties that driving this mountain range presents, it would have been so much easier. I shake my head at the thought, knowing how I love the adventure of seeing what comes around the next turn. The grand vistas of God’s bounty are so incredible from these heights! Then too, I needed the time this drive has given me, set apart from the world that races, to absorb the events of the past few years. Major changes had left me feeling fragmented and torn apart, at a loss as to what to do next. Two years ago, my wife of thirty-six years, died; so quickly, unexpectedly, she was just . . . gone. I struggled to pull myself back together and go on, burying myself in my work. Now, I have had to retire and yet I feel a satisfying peace in checking down the list of all that I have overcome. So much has changed and is now coming together. I seem to have reached my own inner summit.
I crest the mountain peak and stop on the road to look out beyond the top of forests blanketed in winter’s coating. The sun is behind me, mid-afternoon, and lights to sparkling the almost ethereal panorama beyond. I put the window down and take a deep breath of the crisp air as I pause and gather my thoughts. I’ve seen more than 60 winters. I am grateful that I am still full of life and vitality. Christmas is coming soon, what more could I wish for than this? Yet, something is missing. I want . . . I need . . . I flinch as I wonder if I have already had my chance. I ache again yet deeper, and I shiver though the heater is blowing warm and offsets the frigid temperature outside. Soaring on a thermal, a hawk slices through the silence beside me, screeching in joyous freedom. His cry startles me from my reverie and I smile as my soul echoes his call, feeling as alive and free as he. I put the window up and sigh contentedly now as I shift to drive again.
Suddenly I hear a soft, feminine voice whisper my name, touching an answering chord deep within me. I must really be beyond the need to rest! I shake my head as if that would dispel this odd feeling. Silence now bears heavy and dark upon me. The road curves left, then right, as down and down I travel. I feel uncomfortable, anxious, as if something is about to happen, I know not what. Her voice echoes again and part of me comes alive, straining to soar as if anticipating a thermal to lift me to heights unknown. I answer the call as I raise my arm high and shout out loud with joy!
“I am like the hawk! I am free! I will find what I seek for I have power, courage, intelligence, and strength!”
All has been proven in my years to be truth and I am ready for more! My road is not coming to an end, there’s so much yet to be discovered and lived. The town ahead, below the heavier snow line, will be just one stop of many. I am not done, I am just beginning!
Her soft voice strokes my soul again . . . and I tremble.