Just a bit of poetry. I’ve been inspired by Tyler Knott Gregson. His book, Chasers of the Light, arrived the other day, and I’m in love. With his work, that is. I urge you to check out his Tumblr, then if you like it, get his book. So marvelous.
Every once in a while a story touches you and you just can’t help but want to tell people about it. The other day was one of those instances.
Where I live we are very near the Pacific Crest Trail, and it is a common site to have hikers come down from the trail to our town to resupply and well, just take a break from the trail. On Tuesday Mrs. Day and I were setting up our produce stand in town and this one woman hiker came over to check things out. She looked around then went ecstatic when she saw our bowl of origami paper stars.
Mrs. Day and I spend the quiet times when we watch shows, and the winter, folding paper stars. It’s not really for any reason other than it’s sort of relaxing and it keeps Mrs. Day awake. Me, it keeps me from picking my nails. We just use magazine paper, the ads, and have fun. We have folded a lot of stars over the years. Thousands of them. Picture those big ice cream tubs. Two or three of those full, not counting the ones we’ve given away.Well, this woman was thought the stars were so cute. Mrs. Day asked if she had ever heard the Perry Como song “Catch A Falling Star”, because that is how we always think about the stars. A handful you can have in your pocket. The woman hadn’t, but she said that she and her husband always look at the Perseid meteor shower but he’s in Kuwait. She teared up while she told us this. Her husband is in Kuwait for three years, and he comes home next year. So she is hiking the trail this year.
Well, it was just so sweet how the stars made her think of her husband ( she pulled out one star that had a flag design on it) and just her little story was nice. When she left, I couldn’t resist and filled a little box with about twenty or so more stars, added a note that included the first stanza of “Catch A Falling Star’. I tucked it into her backpack which she had left at the Post Office while she went about town.
I hope she got it, and I hope the stars keep her thinking about her husband and when he will be home, though I’m sure she didn’t need stars to do that.
Well, that little story about her just touched me and I think it will linger with me over time. I thought it was so sweet how she wanted to tell about him and teared up. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your partner gone to the middle east for such a long time. On the plus side, at least he’s in Kuwait and not Iraq or Afghanistan.
Mia sifted her fingers through the stars. Red ones, blue, turquoise, forest green, canary yellow, lavender, magenta, toffee brown. All the colors she could ever name including coal black and a pure white. Her thoughts tumbled to Perry Como’s song.
“Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, never let it fade away,” she quoted softly.
Stars were like wishes. Hard to reach and impossible to hold onto. Wishes changed and morphed into new wishes. Wishes that sounded silly or fantastic became serious and much more grounded the more one thought about them. You reasoned them out so that they would, or could, become possible to achieve. From ‘I wish there was never any dust, to I wish my dust rage would hold more.’ Definitely more sensible.
But while Mia’s wishes had become more pragmatic over time, she still had moments she wished for the impossible; or the fanciful. She would wish for the smell of violets in October or waking up to a batch of blueberry muffins hot from the oven. While one might think those sounded reasonable, she knew that violets never bloomed in October, and since it was just her, the only way there would be muffins in the morning was if she made them.
She’d long given up the juvenile wishes of magic wands, flying carpets, and dashing Prince Charmings riding up on a pure white charger, sweeping her off her feet into wedded bliss.
She hadn’t given up on love, per say, but she had stopped expecting that ‘wow’ moment to come along. If she was honest with herself, she still wished for Prince Charming. Oh, not the kind of hero from fairy tales who slew dragons. The kind of man who was almost too unreal. No, she wished for the Prince who cared about her, loved her, and had a healthy respect for her life. Someone who wasn’t out to change her, but would be her companion. Well, okay, good sex was wanted too, but she hoped that was a given.
Mia is my heroine from my ‘novel’, Bookends, a story that I started years ago. She owns a bookstore called, Bookends. I decided to play around with something and this is what came from it. I’ve started incorporating bits of thoughts into fiction, something I am not very good at. The stars are little origami wishing stars, or lucky stars. My mother and I make these by the dozens for fun, and we sell them too. There is something therapeutic about sifting your fingers through a bowl of them. (the link in the picture takes you to where someone else was selling them).
I hope you enjoy this bit of flash fiction.