The folds of her cotton dress poofed in the breeze and came to slap the back of her leg as she strolled down the street with her babies following close behind. It was spring, and the weather had changed allowing her to take her newborn out to basque in the sunshine for the first time. Little shoes slid along the sandy covered edge of the road and began to kick up dust. Her little ducklings tried hard to keep up with her pace in a half run and half skip cantor. 

Down the street they went, until they came to an unexpected turn to the left. Excitement showed on the little one's faces because they had never gone for a walk in that direction before. Carefully she looked for the opening in the woods that led to a path. The coolness of the trees, now in bud shadowed their route and birds chirped at their presence. The breeze followed and soon they could hear the rushing water of a full brook fresh from the thaws of winter and rains of spring. The wet leaves lay like carpet around the banks and purple flowers dotted the edge. It was a magical secret corner hidden from the everyday places the children were accustomed to. It was just perfect enough to become a memory for them. 

55 years later in early spring one of the children traveled that road looking for a particular dogwood tree on the opposite side of the street from that magical place. It was early spring gray and cool and the air was full of drizzle. She peered along the back edges of the woods in between worn houses and decaying garages. Maybe it was too early to see the dogwood flowers just yet. When she got to the top of the street she remembered that walk from long ago and smiled to herself as she looked left. Elderly housing now stands where her magic brook had once been. Dismissing the memory, she turned right and looked one last time down the row of yards to catch a glimpse of the tree, when all of a sudden.....

A brook! The perfect curves and color and force of water that had been in her memory for all of those years, was meandering in front of her but why? How? What? Had the memory she held all this time been wrong? How could it be that the color and depth and curves could be so perfect, but the location could be so totally wrong? She smiled when she realized the brook had actually been in her own backyard all this time. Just 30 feet from where she played everyday as a small child.  She now saw the entire picture. The housing had not been built over the brook, it never strayed it was always there. It was quietly hidden in the woods only to be in full view during the winter season. A time when the children would not be out in the woods! It was kept secret from the ducklings to protect them, with a little antidote added as a shield of sorts when that mother warned them not to go near the dogwwod tree for it was poisonous! Coincidentally it was just outside the banks of that brook! The very reason why she came today. She was looking to see if the tree in her memory was the kind of dogwood she knew as an adult gardener or was it some mystical poisonous tree that had been a secret, checked in her memory.

As she strolled those babies out for their walk on that sunny afternoon she wanted to make sure they had a beautiful spring memory to hold with them for a lifetime, but she didn't want to jeopardize their safety. She knew that brook would be a temptation therefore she took a route that would be long and safe and just a little bit boggled never knowing the truth would be learned by one of those children long after that magical time. 

 What a wonderful present all this time later mom! ~thank you!
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Shelia said...

Oh Donna, excellent. I love the part "the" your mother knew all along she had to protect her little ones. Don't wait so long to share the next chapter.

Creative Monkey Designs said...

Beautiful memory and discovery of how deep was your mothers love and care.

Creative Monkey Designs said...