Ellen stood on the bridge while Nathaniel photographed her from the shore.
“Don’t spoil my memories!”
He did not know how he could spoil her memories, but Nathaniel took multiple shots and made sure the photos looked good. He saw her smile. That let him know she was glad he was taking those pictures. For her part Ellen saw no future that did not include Nathaniel.
Today her face is wrinkled. While she was still able to walk her family decided to take her to her childhood home which seemingly random turbulences over the decades tossed her far away from. She asked to see that old stone bridge. They found the bridge. It was still there in spite of the changes, some challenging, some like windfalls of blessing, that would make almost everything else unrecognizable to her.
As they walked over the bridge, Ellen stopped to the best of her remembrance where she stood when Nathaniel took those photographs. She wondered what happened to him. Why did she lose him that summer?
Ellen thought of her family, husband, middle-aged children and grandchildren starting to have infants to care for. Some of them were with her on the bridge worrying she might fall and guarding her from the edge. She may have another year to share with them. As she breathed the air and watched the water move below she felt an overwhelming gratitude for all of it. The parts of her life she got right soothed those she wished she did differently. She looked toward the shore where Nathaniel stood long ago and smiled at him once again.
Linked to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt. She provided the photo for the prompt. I am also linking because of the reference to gratitude in the story to Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays.
My first job was in data processing. The night shift gave me the day to enjoy the city. I mounted magnetic tape onto drives as tall I was. It was a job that begged to be automated. That was long ago. Like Sisyphus, I can still see myself mounting those tapes only to take them down again.
My walk to work led past the Art Institute. I spent an hour each afternoon wandering through the exhibits. I can still see some of them.
One of the benefits of membership, at least in those days, long ago, in what I would even call the mysterious dark ages of my life, was the free coffee that the Institute offered in the afternoon. I became a regular around four in the afternoon with a dozen retirees who were always there and a few strangers who might wander in some afternoon and whom we would never see again. I can still taste that coffee.
Through daydreams blow the breeze of memory.
When shadows break I look and sometimes see.
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Jilly is hosted with the challenge to the traditional form.
Photos: “Blue and Green”, above, and “Red and Green”, below.
Increase your speed away from here,
Your time to me would disappear.
Your beauty stays a mystery
While I grow old so rapidly.
Although you’ve left me we still find
Our memories do not unwind.
Eventually it seems we die.
We won’t need space or time to fly.
Mass unwound takes us back there
Where love moves here and everywhere.
Linked to dVerse Open Link Night hosted by
Linked to imaginary garden with real toads hosted by Björn Rudberg with the theme of space-time.
Linked to NatPoWriMo2017 Day Six.
Photo by the author.