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#WritePhoto Thaw

December 21, 2017 12 Comments

thaw

thaw

Crimson mittens kept our fingers warm as we marched up the hill in the forrest. Our lunch was still heavy in our systems while we trudged through the snow on the icy path looking for firewood. The night before we had slept at our grandparents’ cabin, full of memories, old books, letters, and games. We sifted through the boxes of photos, finding some that had been taken of our childhood visits. Those black and white images of our grandparents before their hair turned white flooded us with sentimentality.

We sat next to the fireplace telling stories and laughing about our youth until we had consumed all the dry wood. Watching the embers die and darkness descend was like witnessing the energy drained from those gentle ancestors who left us this cabin. They spent their lives in remote isolation, content with nature’s schedule. The grandchildren came for a month every summer, but returned to the city for the rest of the year.  Now that they were gone we came out on winter holiday to take care of the place and decide what to do with it.  It was the first time we had seen the place in winter.  It was the only time we had been there without our grandparents.

We found a few pieces of dry wood tucked into a cranny in the rocks.  We carried enough back to the house to make one more fire.  This time the stories turned solemn, and spirits joined together in a mutual sadness and loss.  We had busy lives, rarely stopping to reflect.  None of us gathered our own firewood or even cleaned our own houses in the city.  Our family was warmed in the glow of the fire, and let go of the daily grind.  We recognized the loss of our grandparents was also the loss of a way of life none of us had embraced.  The cabin contained traditions and memories that were melting like the snow, dissolving into the earth.  This year the thaw will wash away most of our family’s connection to this place.  It is possible to gain a fortune and lose it again many times.  Once time is gone, it will never return.

#writephoto

#writephoto

Please join Sue Vincent each Thursday for a photo prompt on her Echo.  Read, comment, or write your own story, poem, or essay here.  The responses are many and varied.

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