(For the previous installment in this story, please click to my earlier post: What’s in a Name?)
January 27: Understanding
Flora has been my BFF for longer than either of us can remember. And she was always a Flora, and I was always exactly who I am: a Megan.
Our parents unfailingly threw us together…I think mine had hoped some of Flora’s good manners and success-mindedness would wear off on me. When I was young, my imagination was considered cute, something that would morph into a successful business career. I followed that path for a long time, and Flora’s care and kindness made the way a little easier. She understood me better than anyone: I was smart enough to lead the tech and business needs of a data and service-driven organization, but never able to give my full heart to the endeavor. She understood there was always something more, and something very different in me.
And who knows? Maybe some of my strengths wore off on Flora. After all, she’s a CFO for a NON-profit, and damn good at her job. And she is sitting here with me, in a borrowed ratty old sweatshirt that must have belonged to the cabin’s previous and now-deceased owner – it pretty much smells like it. And while I get that she doesn’t quite believe me about the little forest man, she’s still listening. That’s one of the finest kinds of love. I’m very much blessed to be on the receiving end.
And he’s listening, too…I can feel him out there in the tall grass, watching Flora and me as the sun sets over the horizon and the night air settles around us, a little damp on our skin. He never visits in the evenings; our normal time is morning, with coffee and oranges. There has been the occasional late morning, when I bring my sketchbooks and pastels out to that clearing in the woods, and he sits on a mossy tree stump with his wooden flute. I think we both dream at those times, and I love the work that comes out of those rambles. And afterward, he goes his way and I go mine. What he does with the rest of his day is a mystery to me.
But he’s here, tonight.
I have as yet to hear him knock on my window at nightfall. But perhaps, with the season’s change, he needs something more to sustain him than what he gets from morning coffee. I have no idea what he normally does during the winter.
I have no idea what I’ll be doing, either.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)
January 28: Abscission
The two women talk into the twilight and well into the change in air, from clear to stormy. Their bond is clear. Flora’s fierce caring is the hand that supports Megan’s walk through the material world, the fine quality that acknowledges Megan’s shiny pearl of strength and capability underneath the seeming dreaminess. Megan, with her still inner vision, nurtures Flora’s firm determination into something that is as much petal as it is thorn; great compassion and firm resolve has flourished there.
The wind kicks up as the storm’s first cold raindrops patter through the tree canopy, and pelt the two. They scream, laughing as they snatch up the two mugs and the bottle of wine they’ve nearly finished, and run across the screen porch and into the cabin. He winces at the screech and slam of the cabin’s screen door.
Little forest man I may be, but not such a fool as to not go to ground, away from this storm that’s sure to last all night. Do I run to my hollow across the meadow and under the oak, or seek shelter in the sheltered porch? There’s a battered couch against the inner wall, and a beach towel draped over its back. I can easily climb that. The porch window above it is cracked open; there is more these two women have to talk about, and I need to hear.
Autumn is approaching for sure, when leaves silently snap from thin branches and fly, and the fruits of summer drop and are gathered, dried, and stored to sustain winter dreams. It is a time of abscission, of rest, reconsideration, and restoration before new growth can begin. Perhaps that is what Megan needs to do, forthwith, after the summer we’ve shared.
Will she stay in the cabin, as the previous owner, a laconically humorous old man had done, or leave with this Flora on the morrow?
The forest man’s tiny feet slap across the cement floor of the covered porch and he launches himself on to the couch and under the window. The beach towel is only slightly damp, but still holds the day’s earlier warmth, and Megan’s scent. He tugs it down around himself, burrowing deep, and listens to the women inside the cabin. He is resolute and a little sad.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)
The challenge? A micro a day, for Just-Jot-It-January, hosted by Linda G. Hill. For this challenge bloggers share our responses (links below). If a prompt tickles your imagination, please click its connecting link to read more!
January 27th, Understanding (https://lindaghill.com/2022/01/27/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-27th-2022/)
January 28th, Abscission (https://lindaghill.com/2022/01/28/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-28th-2022/)