The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

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A Little Irish Magic

By Julie Terry Cartner

Finally, after years of dreaming, Bridgett stepped foot on the land that had intrigued her as far back as she could remember.  Ireland. The home of her grandmother’s family. Emotionally exhausted from her work at the Horse Rescue Center, Bridgett planned to experience all Ireland had to offer, starting with exploring her grandmother’s homeplace, County Clare. She had reservations at an inn in Lahinch, and the thought of relaxing in the peaceful country kept her going. Even the challenge of driving on the “wrong” side of the road did not deter her from her destination.

It was late by the time she arrived at the inn, and, exhausted, she checked in and soon fell asleep. That was the last normal thing Bridgett experienced.

Still in the blackness of night, she awakened to the sound of her name being called over and over.  Confused, but not alarmed, she stared in perplexity through the blackness.  What had awakened her? She tried to return to the peace of sleep, but the pesky voice kept pulling her into wakefulness. Finally, in frustration, she got up and looked out the window.  In the dim light of the inn’s doorway, she could barely make out something. Was it a horse? Was there a rider? Sliding the window open, she called out quietly, not expecting any answer, but somehow caught up in the magic of Ireland where, she thought, anything could happen.

“Bridgett here,” she whispered. “Who’s calling me?”

“Come out Lass, come out and find what you’ve been seeking,” came the teasing response.

Shrugging her shoulders in a why not gesture, Bridgett pulled on her clothes and stepped out of the inn. As soon as she cleared the doorway, she saw the horse, a beautiful bay stallion, and without thinking, crooned, “Oh you are a beauty.” She reached out to offer her hand to sniff, and soon was caressing his face and neck.

“Jump on,” came the words – or were they just thoughts – and somehow it seemed natural for her to be conversing with a horse.  After all, she had spent her adult life working with horses, and many there had called her a horse whisperer.

I’m in Ireland, she thought. Why not? This is crazy and unreal, but, who cares? With that, she jumped astride the gleaming back and grasped the mane of the gorgeous horse as he carried her through the countryside. “Where are we going and who are you?” she asked.

“Just wait, I promise you won’t be disappointed,” came the immediate response. And so she did, relaxing into the horse’s stride, and, as the faintest hint of light came from the horizon, she could see the rolling green hills that she had envisioned in her many daydreams about Ireland. Soon the horse slowed down, then came to a stop. “Now watch,” he said. Within minutes, the sky which had been so dark, was transformed into hints of violet, then reds, oranges and streaks of blue. In a blinding burst of light, the sun broke through the horizon over the Cliffs of Moher. Awed, Bridgett sat in silence, treated to the most spectacular sight she’d ever seen.  The Cliffs of Moher, the sunrise, the dramatic cliffs and curve of the land, all to herself. Not another person in sight. “How?” she questioned as she slid off the horse’s back. As soon as her feet touched the ground, the horse transformed into a creature she’d only seen in the pages of mythology.

“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “I see you recognize me.  Yes, I am the Puka of Irish legend, but don’t believe everything you’ve heard about me. Mischievous I am, but not necessarily mean.  We know of your life and your kindness to abused horses, and when we learned of your arrival in Ireland, we wanted to thank you for your compassion. Knowing your love of horses, I changed into my horse persona, and you know the rest.  In a little while, people, mostly tourists, will flood this place, but for a few minutes, it’s yours alone. True kindness, the sort that expects nothing in return, should be rewarded. Welcome home, daughter of Ireland. Welcome home.

We Take Power for Granted

By Marie Craig

Our electricity was off for 5 hours today while a broken power pole was replaced.  I caught myself flipping light switches from habit, wanting something hot to drink, and remembering I needed to run the dishwasher.  Very few things in my home worked, but I did play the piano for a while even though it needs tuning.  Oh, well, I thought, I’ll go for my appointment, and they’ll have heat.  Oops, do I know how to open the garage door with no power?  Actually, my own personal power in opening the big door was easier than I thought.  But I came home afterwards to a cool house.

     I pulled up close to a window so I’d have enough light to reread a book 2 Chairs.  It’s a book about power that you receive by placing two chairs in a designated spot.  You sit in one and have a conversation with Heavenly Father whom you visualize sitting in the other one.  The author, Bob Beaudine, poses three questions: Does God Know Your Situation?  Is it too hard for Him to handle? Does He have a good plan for you?  I have appreciated this book and this plan as I realized it has validity in helping me have power to be positive, appreciative, and receiving good advice.

Then I heard the furnace start, and I knew I’d be warm soon.  What a great comforting feeling!  Then I thought of the people who are in dire straits or in harm’s way or who can’t afford to pay bills and don’t have that luxury of staying warm.

Sometimes, it’s good for us to be without things so that we appreciate them more when they return.

Life Expectancy

By Gaye Hoots

The last few months many of my friends and family have encountered health issues that resulted in a change of lifestyle. My prayer list gets longer every week. The latest figures I found are from 2020 and state the life expectancy in the US is now 77.8. Factors of obesity, drug use and overdoses, and income level impact these figures. Many of my friends are older than 77.8 and seem to have a lot to look forward to; others are younger but have serious issues.

Most of my friends around my age of 76 still enjoy full rich lives. They have the ability to appreciate each day, and many live it to the fullest. I tend to enjoy the simple daily pleasures of sunrises and sunsets. To be honest I am not up early enough most days for sunrises but the last few weeks I have been because I am helping with small children.

This gives me a chance to see everything through fresh new eyes and see the miracles as a child does. It also makes me realize that my muscles and joints are not equal to most activities of preschoolers, and neither is my energy level. I am the one needing a nap while they are going strong. When I decline invitations to sit on the floor with them, they insist, “We’ll help you up.”

I am grateful to be able to help with them. In the last weeks I have seen a friend start dialysis, and a couple I love are becoming dependent and needing in home help. Others in their 80’s continue to be very active. I would encourage everyone to spend their time as if the days are numbered, because they are. Love the ones you love, enjoy your coffee, wine, and food. Visit and see your family and friends within safe limits.

The battle of COVID and other contagious illnesses may always be with us. If you can’t visit safely, then call and keep in touch. If there are things you have been putting off for one reason or another, consider doing them now. I tend to be content on my couch with a view I love, my cup of coffee, and a good book, but I try to keep in touch with others and often enjoy a good meal at a restaurant.

The death of close friends during the last year has made me more aware of how quickly our lives change. These friends did enjoy life fully and were fortunate enough to not need lengthy care, but we don’t have control of that. Plan wisely, take of legal and financial issues. Make a will, a living will, and a power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney. Let your children know your desired plans and then relax and enjoy today and all your tomorrows.


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