The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 11:30 am Monday, July 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Magic Hour

By Julie Terry Cartner

I step outside, onto my back deck, into the still evening, serene yet not silent. A half-moon graces the sky and earth with milky beams while the stars play peek-a-boo with silky clouds riding the whisper-soft breeze. I watch, entranced as fireflies signal to their lovers, a dance as old as time, flashing on and off to a syncopated rhythm I can only see, but not hear.

Earlier this evening, I’d watched from the front of the house as a myriad of bees clung drunkenly to the linden flowers. All day they’d labored, collecting pollen and nectar, buzzing back and forth through the sultry day carrying their precious cargo to their hive and indiscriminately distributing the pollen on unsuspecting flowers. Now they rested on dangling limbs, a well-earned respite after their day’s labors.

I fancied an invisible line between the front and the back of the house separating the day’s bees from the night’s fireflies. I wondered if, perhaps, the fireflies are the souls of bees, a reward for their unending labor. Perhaps the lightning bug’s flashes of light are akin to angel’s halos, signifying a job well done.

Or perhaps, the fireflies of the night are the honeybees of the day, flitting and twirling through the night’s sky as a prize for completing the day’s tasks. Perhaps, as twilight descends, turning the burning haze of sunshine into the deepening golds, pinks, and oranges of sunset, and then into the indigo skies of evening, the exhausted bees glide across a barrier, invisible to us, then invigorated by the dusky night, slip into crystal-studded ballgowns of lavenders, deepest purples and royal blues, and tiaras sprinkled with diamonds and pearls, thus enticing their male counterparts to don black tuxedoes or tailored suits, tie cravats or fasten bow ties, and dance the night away.

And the music, oh the music! They’d dance to the whispers of the wind, the shimmers of breeze-fluttering leaves, and the gurgle of the brook, accompanied by the percussion of the cicadas and peepers. The hooting owls and the sleepy calls of nightbirds as they chatter the day’s gossip would provide the vocals as the full ensemble of nature would provide the chords.

And then, maybe, they’d sup on deep red strawberries, dripping with juice, or succulent blueberries dipped in silky-smooth nectar. They’d sip effervescent champagne from buttercup flutes, the escaping bubbles emitting glowing orbs of light, reflecting the moon’s beams.

And in this magical realm, deer would stand beside fox, groundhog by coyote, mouse beside owl, friend beside foe, swaying to the music, captivated by the magic, blanketed by peace.

Then, as the first rays of sun peek out from the horizon, as subtle hints of pink shimmer in the east, the fireflies’ lights would dim, then disappear, the music quieting to a whisper, and the champagne bubbles popping softly, unwilling to dispel the magic, yet unable to stop. Birds and animals would noiselessly go back to their nests and dens, warrens and caves. Fireflies would cross the barrier once again and return to their hives, replacing ball gowns and tuxedoes with striped jackets and fuzzy pouches. Soon buzzing would fill the sky as they returned to their tasks, sipping and pollinating, saving the world for another day

Summer of 2024

By Gaye Hoots

The drive back to Oriental was uneventful, with no stops at Bojangles as I only like the ham biscuits with tomato on them. When I had my physical, my potassium level was high, so I had to cut out my daily banana and tomato, which were my only efforts at eating healthy. The grapes and apples are acidic, so I must be careful there. Apple turnovers seem to work well though.

I am glad to be back in my condo, though it is dry here for the first time I remember, dry and hot! I only go outside when I must; even the mornings and nights are hot. The view is one I never tire of, and I am spending too much time on my couch and have a bit of what I self-diagnosed as sciatica in my left leg. Web MD states this is prevalent among older, obese people who spend too much time sitting. If the shoe fits, wear it. Family visits help keep me more active, but I am prone to sit and read.

Jaden spent a week at the beach with friends and is now at camp for a week. She will work this summer before attending Davidson Community College in the fall. Baby Mia is off the ventilator and on another form of assisted breathing which they are slowly weaning her from. Tiffany is living in the NICU with Mia, and all family and friends are supporting them. Mia has not required any further blood transfusions. We are grateful for every improvement and pray that God will continue to grant us miracles for our child.

The contractors have nearly completed the projects on mine and Cami’s deck. Hers is above mine, and there is a large pool here, but I will only go there if the kids go. Each time I leave, and the bird feeders are emptied, the cardinals stop coming, and it takes me a while to lure them back. The female is back, but the beautiful red male has not been with her. I had a welcoming committee of seagulls the night I came home. My car looked like someone had slung a gallon of white paint over it. I have never seen them make such a mess before.

My neighbor and the contractors kept the flowers and potted vegetables watered while I was gone. It is hot, but the sailboats are out every day. I hope to see more friends next time I am in Advance. Each year passes a little faster and, on this trip, I did see those confined to home or nursing homes. It’s sad to see how their lives have changed and to know mine could change just as quickly. One of the grands brought me a picture of Mom, Dad, myself, Faye, and Phil made shortly before Daddy died. I am the only one left of my nuclear family. It is hard to realize that, but I have a large family of kids, grands, and now two great-grands, one eighteen years old. It has been a great trip, and I am looking forward to and appreciate each new day.


By Marie Craig

     We go through life comparing, judging, hoping, visualizing, and responding.  Hypothetical examples: a family has had generations of their men becoming doctors and the new son has this expectation by his parents that he will follow suit; but he goes in an entirely different direction with his desired career.  How do the parents react?  “Years ago, people dressed up when they were in public.”  “I can’t believe recipients of gifts don’t write thank you notes anymore.”

     What do you do when your expectations with similar situations aren’t met?  Some people seem to have lost all patience and have constant “road rage.”  Family feuds and long-term arguments have begun over what seem to be trivial issues.

     I had an interesting discussion recently with a good friend who had printed herself a poster with these words: Expectations Destroy Reality.  It took me a while to fully grasp this meaning, but slowly the words made sense.  If I have things all figured out in my mind, after different choices are made, I struggle to cope and have closure on the new result.  But if I can give everybody mercy or stay out of their business, then I am more apt to adjust and accept their way of life.  Some people are changing quickly in habits, attire, and personal appearance.  Accepting change is hard, but it will make your life less stressful.