The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 9:35 am Thursday, September 3, 2020

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Our Little Friend

By Linda H. Barnette

A couple of years ago a little wren built a nest in a flower pot in our garage. Even though the babies were loud and messy, we did not bother the nest. Now we have nests in the same spot every year. The mother often sits on a branch of our pear tree right outside of the garage so she can keep an eye on her nest and periodically feed the babies.

As time has gone by, the wren does not seem to fear us as we go in and out through the garage. It is as if she knows we will not harm her.

Recently we had a storm with  heavy rain. When I looked out my window, a very wet little wren was sitting on my window sill looking in. I walked over to the window, and we just looked at each other. It was a very emotional experience for me that she seemed to trust me to take care of her.

Now she has started singing to us from the edge of the deck very early in the mornings. She still stays in the garage most of the time, and I believe she wants to come inside. Yesterday she had perched on the kitchen door sill, and I saw her tail and closed the door.  We do not want her in the house for obvious reasons.

But it seems obvious to me that man and nature are very closely connected and should respect one another.

Because Sometimes We Can’t Go Back

By Kevin F. Wishon

“Another refill?”

“Yes. Please.”

“How was your meal?”

“It was fine,” I replied.

The slim older brunette leaned forward and steadily filled my glass without spilling a drop. Setting the tea pitcher to one side, she stared at me for a moment. “You’re not a regular, and you don’t look like anybody I’ve seen in this town, are you passing through?”

“I reckon my travel bag gives it away, doesn’t it?”

She smiled and nodded. “Where’s your car? I didn’t see you drive in.”

“Oh. I’m waiting for the mechanic down the street to finish replacing a part, and then I’ll be on my way.” Feeling my semi-dry shirt’s humidity under my jacket reminded me of the bizarre situation I had experienced the previous night. “Can I tell you something that happened to me last night?”

Looking across the empty, rustic diner, she replied emphatically, “Sure. I’ve got nothing but time.”

“Last night, my car broke down about thirty-some miles from here up Route 9. It was freezing, cold and drizzling rain, and I knew I couldn’t handle sleeping in my car overnight with no heat. So, I thought, if I could just find a house with a telephone, I’d call for someone to come and tow the car. After walking thirty minutes, I saw a porch light. It was some distance off the road, and I had to walk through the woods to reach it.”

With tense concern on her face, the brunette dropped into the chair facing me and listened.

“Reaching the lit porch, I saw an older woman in a shawl leaning against the porch column and looking out into the darkness. As I approached, I called out to her. I was worried I might scare her. However, she didn’t seem to let my arrival bother her. Even more surprising, she welcomed me and told me dinner was waiting for me on the table. I tried to explain that I just needed to use her phone, but she said it wasn’t working due to the miserable weather. Uncertain of what to do, I finally decided to stay until morning. She told me to go in and make myself at home, and when I asked her if she was going to join me, she replied, ‘No. You go on in. I’m waiting for someone.’ Entering the home, I immediately felt exhausted but comfortable. I tried the phone. It was indeed dead. I tried the stew she had prepared and felt ready to sleep afterward. Looking for a place to nap, I dropped into an over-stuffed sofa just to the left of the front door. The last thing I remember seeing through a window was her standing outside waiting before I fell asleep,”

I paused to take a swallow of tea and continued. “Well, when I woke up, let me tell you, I freaked out! There were cobwebs and dust everywhere. A roof leak had soaked me while I was sleeping on that sofa, which, by the way, was now a pile of springs and rotten foam. I still can’t believe that I fell asleep in a rotten, old home. As I looked around the dilapidated place, I found a yellow, tattered newspaper on the dining room table with a headline that described the ongoing search for a local runaway girl. I wanted to read more, but abruptly, a voice in my head said, ‘Go home!’ I didn’t stick around for one second after that. I ran to the highway and flagged a car down for a ride to a payphone.”

Rising from the diner chair, the older lady appeared as though she wanted to cry. Without looking, she snatched my bill from the table and balled it up before stuffing it into her apron pocket.

“Wait. What are you doing? I’ll pay that bill. Write me another one!”

“No.” She replied, turning her back to me and walking away. “You’ve delivered the message. Now, do as you were told and go home– while someone that cares about you is still alive.

Another Passing

By David R. Moore

A recent passing of a loved one stirred the deep pot of grief. The heavy emotion oozed through my being bringing with it the resurgence of griefs for others who are also no longer here. We are told that grief is a way to healing after a loss. By acknowledging our emotions with grief, the way back is the way forward.  However, grief may be hard and unrelenting. Even the sound of the word is harsh.

Grief is not the same as when we were young. With the passing of years, we become more aware how each death makes us older than our chronological age. Perhaps it is due to a keener awareness of our own mortality.

We now must take the steps of acceptance to ebb the burden of grief. We must learn again not to hold so tightly or yearn until it pains us. Eventually we accept the death into our life but our life changes as it incorporates the fact of death. The pot of grief settles as we loosen the bonds that held our loved one to our hearts.

The Power of Perseverance

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Quotes are amazing as there can be so much power in a simple sentence. Last week in art, Susan Lyon asked the class, “Is drawing a natural talent or the power of passion and perseverance?” Her question gave me pause.

After class, I came home and opened up my art portfolio from back in the early 90s – my first attempts at art. The black folder was filled with pen and inks and works in charcoal that I’d drawn in Dr. John Hutton’s drawing class at Salem College. Learning to draw was tedious. I found it painstakingly slow and, therefore, I was impatient.

I dug out my notes and class handouts along with my midterm and final term reviews. I don’t remember ever reading the reviews because art was an elective, and I was mainly interested in my semester grade.

Dr. Hutton’s notes have more meaning to me today than they did back then. “Need to concentrate more and work consistently throughout class period. Some improvement on this at end of semester. Work on this! Drawing demands intense concentration. You have some talent – assignments such as portrait and still life done fairly well from start – but need to stick with it. Quite good drawings can (and will) be the result!”

I read his comments for the first time. Where would my artistic ability be today if I’d followed his advice? I found it comforting when Susan Lyon said she hadn’t always been a painter – she came to art in her 30s. Now she’s a professional artist.

So maybe it’s both. What if each of us has an incredible. undiscovered talent with which God blessed us? What can we achieve when we recognize the talent, begin to feel a passion for it, and then persevere?

It’s a good time to discover something new within you.


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