Here are some of my favorites (first paragraph only - you have to click on the title link to see the whole story):
All the Time God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.
Curio was confused. Again. It seemed like every day there was something. Something to make her squirmy, uncomfortable, doubtful, or like today, just plain confused.
She focused on the words she had written. The gold ink reflected the light and they glimmered and shone on the page. It wasn't the first sentence she was having difficulty with. Those words glowed.
Into Thy Hands Curio’s wings quivered, feathered plumes dancing from the inside out, shimmying and shimmering in the bright light before class. All of the students were excited, shimmying and shimmering. Even the voices of her fellow angels moved, rising and falling, engaged in pre-class conversation, weaving music into the atmosphere. She could make out words and phrases: holy and mystery, glory and praise. She heard: in the beginning; she heard spirit of God; she heard darkness and she heard light. Curio simply couldn’t sit still any longer.
Show and Tell Curio was excited. Today was Show and Tell and her name had been chosen to be first. But what? What could she bring to her class of little angels? She was flummoxed. Velvety wings quivering, mouth drawn up and puckered in thought, she searched through her closet. No, no, and no - she would not bring the slightly bent halo from her cherub years. She would not bring the silly pink tutu she had insisted on two birthdays ago. She would not bring the cuddle-bug lamb, her slightly frayed, squeezed-lumpy, night-snuggle friend.
A Wild Flower He rode his bike to school everyday. She noticed that he sometimes arrived early, before students were allowed into the building, before there was anyone to supervise. At least twice a week he forgot his lunch. The days grew shorter and shadows lengthened: air crackled with brittle cold and icy frost lined the edges of moisture on browned leaves and fallen pine needles.
Across the River A village lay alongside a wide, winding river. It was an ancient village, and had seen many people come. It had seen many people go. Farmers, builders, artisans, speech-makers, and educators. Growing and shrinking, growing and shrinking, the village adjusted to the winds of change and the sands of time. It remained at peace and it prospered.
To Another Village His mind was full and his heart felt like water in his chest, sloshing heavily as he trudged through the packed dirt and rocks on the road to Jerusalem. He alone knew what was to come. His robe was stained from travel, sweat and dust patterned like the brushwork of tides sweeping the floating things from the sea into great arcs along the shoreline of homespun wool. Sandals, dusty and threadbare, embraced his feet, protection from the heat of the road, from sole-cutting sharp edges, from heel-bruising stones.
In the Garden "She was beguiled." Beguiled, the little angels scribbled furiously in their note journals.
"Bamboozled, tricked, deceived, hoodwinked, misled, duped. But she wasn't lied to." Curio stopped scribbling and looked up in alarm. "Not lied to? How was it not a lie? It was an apple - only an apple."
"An apple," the little angels repeated.
On The Mountain There is poetry in the name - Ten Sleep, Wyoming. The story goes that it was the winter camp for one of the Sioux bands - years ago. It was a ten-day trip from Summer Camp. It took ten sleeps. A small town, it nestles up against the western edge of the Big Horn Mountains. And the day we drove through, it was snowing.
A Sign "What do you seek?" The sun was rising over the teacher's shoulder as he spoke. Bulbous and red, it demanded attention. Bad weather coming. They must make haste. The rocks behind him stood like flames, capturing a fiery canyon that led away and away to the river and eventually to the sea.
A Cup of Cold Water "Come to the fountain and drink." The maiden was young, and he could tell, shapely beneath her robe and veil. It had been a long, hot, dusty day for him and he was thirsty. His sandals were wearing blisters on his feet; it was time to stop and rest. It had been a long, hot, dusty day.
Are You the One? Are you the one? A single thought, tiny, small, insistent. Movement, like a hiccough, deep inside. She imagined a perfectly formed foot, a perfectly formed hand, a miracle. She rested her palm on the mound her stomach had become. The mound she had kept hidden from prying stares and accusing glances. She rested her palm on the blooming of the child inside.
The Journey A man and his wife were traveling - driving the highways and byways, enjoying the out-of-the-ways - the sceneries and eateries they encountered. Friendly, they looked forward to conversations with other travelers, with locals; they looked forward to learning about the people and places they visited. There was no destination; it was the journey they sought.
Children of God “Come on, David, we’re leaving.” Nitzevet threw the ends of her scarf over her shoulder impatiently. Her sons were always scrapping, always into something or other, roughhousing… and David, the youngest, was the worst! He never backed down from the older, bigger boys. Even when the teasing and tumbling went beyond play. He was a wonder, though. What a sense of humor and spirit of joy. She and Jesse had finally made the decision that David was to go with the sheep this season. She had argued that he wasn’t old enough – her husband had countered that she was spoiling him, keeping him home too long. Hmmph, she thought as she finished packing the leftover bread and olives from noon meal, rolling her eyes at the thought. Spoiled, indeed. Her youngest was not rotten fruit! She smiled, even as she turned to call him again.
Something to See Her visit to the base was going to be short. "Post," she reminded herself. Her son had told her again just that morning - "Base is Air Force, Post is Army." She pushed the smile down. He was being such a show off. All those acronyms and specialty words. Military words. Like a code; he was in a secret-code brotherhood. This time, the smile stayed for a second. Imagine, her big, old football-hero, should-have-been-in-college, got-the-girlfriend-pregnant son, was graduating from his AIT school - Advanced Individual Training. He'd scored pretty well on the test thingy the Army had given, and now he was graduating. Then he was moving.
Do I Get to Choose? The woman fussed at her clothes, pulling the gathers to the back, adjusting the scarf. She loosened the belt to sit lower on her waist. Her brow furrowed at her husband in the mirror; she tugged again at the waist that was a little too tight. She was getting to that decision point in her weight - eat less, exercise more, or give it up and start buying a new wardrobe. Ugh.
Yet Lovely She slipped into her room like a wraith, stealthy, aware, silent. Closed the door - slowly - turned the knob - clickless. Quiet. Like the night - the night that wrapped her in shadowy folds. Sleepless, she stared at the darkened reflection. Turning, pushing, adjusting. Smoothing her hair - those errant waves, tendrils escaping - she tried to find the girl she wanted to be. The girl she wanted to see.
Craziness What was she thinking? This was craziness - this joining thing, this going along, this fitting in. She didn't fit in. First of all, she didn't have the right clothes, those designed, color-co-OR-dinated, up-to-the-minute clothes. She didn't have the right hair - glossy, down-to-the-waist, move-in-the-wind hair. She knew that when others looked at her, they saw freckles and curls, hand-me-downs, and glasses. She definitely didn't look the part.
Never Alone Alone in the darkness, in her room with the curtains drawn tightly against the glare of the streetlight shining like the moon on a pole outside her window. It seemed like ages since she'd felt peace - since she'd felt comfort - since she'd been at ease. Worry weighed on her chest - tight like an overblown balloon - like something caught in her throat - choking, squeezing, pushing. Alone. She was alone.
Maybe They Would Even Use Words "I don't know." He could hear his voice climbing, louder, higher in pitch. He was stabbing his towel at the dishes. He knew he should have made the phone call earlier - the one to the cable company - to ask about the addition on their bill. He had told her he would. But, darn it, he was busy. He'd had to attend yet another foolish-get-nothing-done meeting, and he'd been volunteered to oversee the next presentation by the same guy who had called the meeting. Again.
Nothing More Once, an old man in a village had weak eyesight. Much as he tried, he couldn't see the details of the world around him. This state of affairs had been going on for so long, that he was beginning to forget that details existed. His world was getting smaller, and plainer - every year a little bit smaller, a little bit plainer. Finally, he stopped looking at objects or people as individual and unique. He just went through his days fulfilling his obligations. Nothing more.
Then You Will Know The man of clay stood slowly, testing his newly formed legs, his untried joints. He stretched the bent places, and bent the stretched, celebrating the freedom he felt in the movement. Placing new hands over new features, he explored the delicate eyelids, opening and shutting them beneath his palms, delighting in the feathery softness of lashes. He pinched his nostrils, one, the other, then both together - snorting in surprise at his sudden inability to breathe. To breathe - he swiveled his head down and watched as his chest rose and fell rhythmically - air in, air out. Wonderful. Marvelous. Satisfying.
Humbled By Kindness - Part 1 “There’s always a story”, the voice cut through the velvet-quiet of the Home, “behind the story.” Her hand was cool, skin papery with a map of blue veins and those old-people discolorations, resting on the arm of the chair. Her chair. Upholstered in thick pink satin and embroidery – just a little worn at the piped edges. Like her - buttoned into a Zsa Zsa bed jacket, hair all poufed and perfect in a fine-line-powdered-face way – just a little touch of lipstick coloring outside the precisely drawn mouth. I watched her mouth as she spoke.
Humbled By Kindness - Part 2 “We sat together for a bit – until one of the teachers noticed us – CeCe knows them all – those teachers….and gathered CeCe up to sit closer to the front. Just in time. The principal had commandeered the microphone and was launching into a stern spiel about behavior during graduation – and hiring extra police to ensure the acting appropriately – and no hugging of board members – and – oh my, it made me think what are we getting ourselves into…..”
Humbled By Kindness - Part 3 “You know, I still didn’t completely trust – much as I’d like to say I did. Not at first. I left CeCe on the line – explaining that I would be in the auditorium, but that Daniel would make sure she did what she was supposed to do, then I immediately checked up on this Daniel guy. I spoke with one of the APs – the one whose wife headed up our Special Olympics track team – the one I thought would have the most sympathy and understanding of CeCe’s situation and needs. I asked him if this Daniel guy would actually help CeCe out, if he would actually take this added responsibility on. The AP assured me – he said the boy was one of the good guys – and he said he’d keep an eye out for her as well…”
We Are God's The promise of Fall
Concealed tenderly inside
A summer acorn
Once upon a time, a young girl lived with her family. Moving with the seasons, finding work where they could, the family did not have a place they could call their own. They were migrant. And they were poor.