Written for Poetic Bloomings Prompt
Sparks of fire
grow from embers’ glow ~
move from soft nudge to being
hard pressed and breathless.
Written for Poetic Bloomings Prompt 335 – Soft and Hard
CATCH AND RELEASE
He was told
there are other fish
in the sea.
And so he
waited with bated breath, just
to be told…Go Fish.
Shared at Poetic Asides
Picking out the family Christmas tree hadn’t been the same since Catherine passed away. She was the best at finding just the right one. Truth be told, he knew he was the muscle of the pair—it was she who had the eye for design. To him, they all looked the same!
That first year, James and Catherine’s son and his family made the trek home from Miami to try to help bring some holiday cheer to the now-quiet home. And he appreciated their effort – but it just wasn’t the same. Robbie picked the first tree he came to and insisted it was the one Mom would have chosen—James knew it was more because his son had become too accustomed to the warm beaches, to stay too long in the Colorado cold.
As the years passed, Robbie’s visits became fewer as his growing family got busier. And James found himself standing alone among the evergreens, hatchet in hand, missing the love of his life. Being in the mountains with Catherine were some of his best memories of their time together. He could almost see her excitedly darting from tree to tree, talking about how many more lights she planned to add to their tree that year.
James wasn’t entirely certain of how much time had passed before he realized it had been snowing. The cold air stung the corners of his eyes, where tears had formed. Blinking and squinting, he didn’t know if he could trust what he was seeing. It looked as if ALL of the trees in front of him were filled with lights.
Catherine had just sent James a gift from heaven. The beauty of the snow-covered trees, filled with more light than he’d felt or seen since Catherine’s death, gave him new inspiration. Instead of his annual trek with a hatchet to take down a tree, he returned to that spot each year with cords and generators and more and more lights, as a gift back to Catherine.
Last night started not unlike most Friday nights. After a long week at work, neither of us was interested in being in a crowd of people (one of the many things I love about Joey, our shared need to be alone—together). We picked up our usual carryout favorites and headed north out of town.
We vary our destination week to week between the beach and the woods, and as the last stop light trailed off behind us I suggested that we go to the woods this week. Joey protested a bit since we had done the woods the week before. The night was expected to be cloudy and we wouldn’t miss the stars as much as we would at the beach. Joey smiled at my reasoning as he steered toward the next right, pointing us in the direction of our favorite forest.
A short walk brought us to “our spot”, just off the trail. The woods are fairly dense, but about a year ago we had found the tiny clearing, just on the edge of the creek. We call it our meadow, though it’s not nearly enough space to be categorized as such.
In spite of the clouds, it was a perfect evening—the weather was warm and the sweet smell of jasmine lingered on the soft breezes filtering through the trees. Our dinner was enjoyed on the blanket spread out in our meadow, and we could feel the stress of the week leave us as we spent the time talking and unwinding and the summer sun set behind the trees. We were cuddled up together on that blanket—my eyes were closed, and I was relaxed, happily breathing in the mixed scent of Joey and jasmine.
Darkness usually comes quickly when in the woods. But last night, time seemed to stand still. Even through closed eyes I could tell it still felt light out, but Joey said it was time for us to think about heading back. Leaving was never my favorite part of the night, and I was reluctant to open my eyes. The soft chuckles from somewhere deep inside of Joey, along with the gentle caresses across my forehead and through my hair coaxed my eyes open.
Soft blue lights filled the trees branches. I sat up quickly—everywhere I looked, I saw the magical mystery! It’s as if fireflies had filled the branches like stars fill the sky. But they weren’t fireflies.
My eyes darted from branch to branch as Joey sat next to me, chuckling softly. However, when my eyes turned to him, I realized he wasn’t looking at the lights, he was watching me with his own sparkle of magical mystery. Before I knew it, I was looking at one more sparkling bit of magic that I now wear on my left hand—and after hearing words about how I make him over the moon happy and wanting to give me the stars though they paled in comparison to the sparkle in my blue eyes…I said yes!