Thursday, 19 September 2013

Avalon



A writing prompt from Write on Edge and Trifecta inspired by the quotation and definition below:

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time. (Sylvia Plath)
Rainbow :  an illusory goal or hope




My grandfather once told me that he’d spent his whole life in summer.   I was a child then and I didn’t understand, but I believed him.  There was sunshine in him, always warmth, and he took delight in everything.  Being around him was like an easy purposeless walk on an August evening through the wooded lanes around his house.   I’d walked those lanes and knew each turn, each fence, each sunbeam.    Those lanes had seen a thousand thousand of me -- the cowboy, the knight, the pirate, the explorer, latterly the thwarted romantic hero.   We’d walked those lanes for years and countless summer stories had been told in the dappled light.

My summer was coming to an end.   As September slouched over the threshold I’d leave for university and take up a course that was practical and appropriate, which would be the gateway into growth and progression and forward planning and productivity and purpose and perhaps, someday, a comfortable retirement in which I could take long and easy walks to nowhere and everywhere and then, ultimately, to nowhere again.

Standing in my grandfather’s garden, between the two apple trees exactly the same age as me, I heard absent echoes of running feet and excited voices overlaying the silence.   What did they have to be excited about?  Hadn’t they seen the autumn clouds over the nearby woodland?   Hadn’t they known about the rain that would turn the green grass to mud and ruin?

No.  They hadn’t.  It had always been summer here, even when the snow piled up so deep and white and crisp that it remade the world.  Always summer, and no clouds and no rain could drive away an old man’s smile.


But September was coming. Summer would be a memory, as glorious, unreal and intangible as a rainbow.

I stepped away from the two apple trees, exactly the same age as me, and back toward the slowly emptying house, and the expressionless faces and low tones of my well dressed relatives.

34 comments:

  1. What a great way to describe a positive personality. And love the standing between two apples trees just his age.

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  2. What a somber piece, but it's also lovely in how it portrays the recently deceased.

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  3. Breathtaking and beautiful as always. I was particularly impressed with the amber captured feeling of this piece and loved the bitterness and fatigue that the character felt towards adulthood, and oh my how much that last line sang.

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  4. Even though it's always summer, you've brought in all the seasons.
    I especially love the snow remaking the world : )

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    1. Nice thick white snow always makes me think of fresh starts and new paper

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  5. Beautiful! I love the part about a thousand thousand of me. Great writing, I want to read more of your words. Keep talking, keep telling your perfect stories.

    Best,
    MOV

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  6. You've written this beautifully, and the metaphors are particularly well done. I also loved the cadence of the phrase: "There was sunshine in him..."

    A wonderful writing of remembrance and of the sunlight some dear people bring into our lives.

    Excellent writing :))

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  7. Some lovely turns of phrase here, beautifully captured in the emotion, remembrance and reality of the your story. Thanks for linking up.

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  8. I love thinking of someone as "spending their whole life in summer." I used to truly hope that I could be one of those people, keep the light, the warmth, the hope alive for others.

    your words were like sunshine. I love reading them

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  9. " I heard absent echoes of running feet and excited voices overlaying the silence." This, made my heart ache for long ago and far away.
    Beautiful

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  10. "There was sunshine in him, always warmth, and he took delight in everything.Being around him was like an easy purposeless walk on an August evening through the wooded lanes around his house." Beautiful lines underlying a fantastic personality.Loved the contrasting sad yet practical tone at the end and the emphasis on the apple trees:-)

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  11. This writing hit home for me. Is it based on a true story? I know when my dad died, I lost a bit my own endless summer. I was very close to him.

    You did an excellent job with both prompts and I loved the use of the apple trees and your opening line was a perfect gateway into this story.

    Well done and thanks for writing this so I could read it:~)

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    1. There are parts from real life, and parts imagined, but all the feelings are as real as they come.

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  12. Charming and heartwarming. Your imagery is tangible, vivid. Well done!

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  13. Touching and beautiful, I love it. I can picture my dad in his lavender field, a grin on his face.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, I'm pleased you liked it

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  14. Wonderful writing, and congrats on the 2nd place win!

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    1. I didn't realise till now! Thanks for the feedback and the update :D

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  15. And you've captured the essence of growing up loved in three sentences: "Being around him was like an easy purposeless walk on an August evening through the wooded lanes around his house. I’d walked those lanes and knew each turn, each fence, each sunbeam. Those lanes had seen a thousand thousand of me -- the cowboy, the knight, the pirate, the explorer, latterly the thwarted romantic hero."

    Brilliant, Thomas.

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  16. whoa. i love this. i love how you storytell, how you go from past, to present, then looking towards the future. well written and heartfelt.

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