Thursday, August 12, 2010

IN THE PALM OF MY HAND

Everyday was a struggle.  I looked everywhere for peace.  It was not to be found.  I stood up several times from underneath the big old ash tree.  I had curled up there in the night with a quilt my mama had made me, a pillow off my bed to rest my head on, listening to the sounds of the water cascading across the rocks in the fountain in the back yard, and listening to the breeze rearranging branches and leaves overhead.  The angel under the tree seemed to comfort me, and I reached up and placed my hand on her concrete wing and slept, slept right there with that angel protecting me.

In the morning, though, nothing had changed other than the fact I had a horrific backache and my pink pajamas were soaked with the sweat brought on by the humidity.  There were mosquito bites, too.  I counted about fifteen of them before stopping.  I figured if I could stand up, there was probably still enough blood in my body to nourish me and those little blood-sucking pests, at least through one more day.

As I wearily made my way to my house, I leaned down and scooped up a handful of dirt and let it sift through my fingers.  Playing in dirt had always been a comfort to me, even in my older years, I could barely wait for the snow to melt so I could get out the shovels and trowels and rakes and flower seeds and play in the dirt.  I never wore gloves.  I wanted to feel the earth on my hands and under my fingernails.  That habit of not covering my hands, though, made for a few trips to the ER for stitches and tetanus shots because when you turn up the dirt, you inevitably are going to turn up glass that has no reason for being there.  I always wonder if it got deposited during a heavy snowstorm, and there are times in the winter when the sun will shine while the snow plummets from the sky and I swear I see diamonds hitting the earth.  Who knew that it could snow diamonds in the wintertime?  

I scooped up another handful of soft, hot earth and wondered if peace would ever find me or if I was destined to always be peaceless.  Just as I started to drop the last handful back to the ground and open the door to go inside, I felt something in my fingers, something hard.  I brushed the dirt away and found a tiny little blue plastic butterfly.  I spit on it, rubbed it clean, and turned the little jewel over and read a tiny inscription on the curve of the underside of the butterfly's perfect wing:  "Peace has found you."  

Pocketing the treasure from the dirt in my own back yard, I thought, "I looked everywhere for peace, and I just found it in the most unlikely place...in the palm of my own hand."

3 comments:

Magpie said...

Kathy...this is wonderful. Your words are entrancing.

Tracy said...

Beautiful story. I hope you didn't write this today. What are you doing reading this comment? You're supposed to be working.

Brian Miller said...

ah, a beautful tale..glad you found that peace. and hope you had a fabulous thursday!