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Echo's of the Morning
By E W Berryhill
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
A story of an unbroken connection between two of a kind.
Time on the farm seemed so much simpler than in the city. Things move at a slower pace which drives mama crazy. Father seems to be a whole person here. The air's cleaner down here he would say. We live on a small farm in southern Illinois down the gravel road from Mr. Henry. Mr. Henry is the watch fixer and the one who took me fishing for the first time down on the lake. Across the way, my uncle Seth has a place with his new bride Alise. She is such a loving girl. So the farm is my playground, just beyond the barn or creek, to have adventures and explore the uncharted lands. The crop fields are my laboratory to examine all of natures gifts. My favorite thing is chasing off the crows that try to sneak a quick meal. I love being the human scarecrow. I would stand here not moving a muscle; barely breathing keeping my eye fixed bringing them in closer, closer, closer. Then suddenly I'd jump as high as I could, wave my arms and kick my feet, scaring the beejesus out of those stupid crows till they all flew away.
This particular morning seemed cooler; the dew had just risen to touch the light glint of the haze that hides the sunrise. Soon father would be coming to check the fields as in many late summers past. I have always enjoyed these walks thru the fields where my dreams seem to dance about like the butterflies one flower to the next. This day seemed different.
As I walked about the maze of corn I could see the heaviness of the air around me. I could sense the anticipation around me like something was about to happen. Kind of like the silence before the storm, the wind had come to a standstill, the birds to a reverent silence, and no celebratory chirp from the tiny insects that crowd the field. No sound could penetrate that stillness. For some strange reason I felt no fear. Was it the fact that I knew my father would be coming soon? Maybe this was the time that my dreams would become reality.
To see her once again dancing and playing like before the accident is something I yearn for each time I close my eyes. This feeling, this silence came to me once before at the lake beside the still waters of the Tioga when she came to play with me and to talk about the things we left unsaid before that frightful day.
I can still hear that train whistle just like it was yesterday. Why didn't we stop and let it pass? The sound of the crash and the screeching sound of metal while the train tried to stop. The smashing sounds as we flew thru the air into the Jaspers woods near the river. It seemed to go on forever. They tell me it was just a few moments in time and a year in the hospital. I'm only nine how much should I go through.
Sara always seemed to be there for me when I needed her the most. She was always here to help me pick out my clothes for church and school. Though I don't always see her, I always hear her when she talks to me. Sometimes in a whisper but other times it is a feeling or urging. Like the time she told me to wait beside the school, untell that dark van pulled away or the time she hid my lunchbox so I missed the school bus. Good thing, too, because it slid on the ice, hit a car, and the driver and kids on board were hurt. Today I will see her just like the time before.
Things have changed so much since the accident. Father and mother don't talk of it much anymore. Oh how I wish I could tell them about Sara. She has told me not to speak of it with anyone. I don't understand why, but I can keep the secrets she shares with me.
There she is standing in the mist like an angel, can she hear me? Can she see me? Why doesn't she acknowledge me? Sara; I say, do you want to play? Do you have time? She steps around and bends down for something on the ground. What are you trying to show me? I ask. Still she says nothing but I begin to feel the light breeze that seems to kiss my cheek as it brushes across my hair. I move closer into the mist. I listen for the sounds of summer but I hear nothing. I try and raise my hand to touch my sister but I can't. I raise my voice so she can hear me but she doesn't. Please, please, I pray just one more time with her please don't go. Not yet. She walks about a little more brushing her hands across the tops of the corn. I want to run up and hug her, tell her how much I've missed her. Oh how I miss our playing together. Sara I see you, you are here with me right now, right here in our field behind the barn. Still she shows no acknowledgement of me.
In the distant, a voice I've heard so many times before, "Jenny its time to go, we have to take Sara to the hospital." No! It's not time Sara's right here. Not in that stupid chair you put her in, she's right here. Can't you see her? She can walk and talk. Don't you people know this? Father yells again "jenny it's time" and the fog begins to lift. Sara looks to me, puts her finger to her mouth and says shhhhhh. It's our secret, remember? We'll dance and play another time she says as she fades away into the mist.
As I walk back to the house I turn to see my parents pushing my twin sister's paralysed body in the wheelchair down those long ramps to the car. They think she hasn't moved or talked for a year now. We know the truth. When the cloud meets the ground then my dreams and reality come true . That's when Sara and I meet to play.
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