‘Dia De Los Muerto’ tells a story of two meaningful lives.
Joelcy Kay | Editor | Edge of Humanity Magazine
Written by Keith Slater
Adrian sat quietly looking at the serene lake before him – so peaceful that he found himself drifting into a deep place in his memory:
Images from the past come fluttering down through his memory like many colored leaves falling from beautiful autumnal trees. They are stirred up in the movement of time and by the visitation of old locations and events that were once his very personal intimate experiences. They will forever remain part of him: being shaped and molded, added to and embroidered by the ongoing experiences and march through life. They have become incorporated into who he was becoming, and who he presently is – the ‘he’ of today!
As he reflected on the leaves of his life, there have been stories of unspeakable and explicit joy; stories of profound sadness and loss; stories of uncertainty, and even of timidity; stories which he would rather forget and have extracted from his life’s journey (but that is impossible). Then there have been stories that have challenged him, and have been life-changing; stories which have expressed the selfish nature of humanity, and even sometimes stories which have shone with the magnanimity, generosity and wonder – the wonder of what humanity can really be!
He recognizes he is the bearer of many stories – many many stories which have been carefully stitched together, some rough-sewn and some even painfully stapled into place along the way. They are all part of him and who he is – and will continue to be a part of who he is still becoming!
As he ponders, a leaf flutters down. He takes it up and examines it carefully. It is of a young woman of eighteen waiting excitedly as a young man rides towards her. He is an older man who has visited their homestead many times over the past year. And he is coming specifically to see her! Her heart is a-flutter and her bright eyes betray her excitement. Today he will ask her parents for her hand.
Adrian places that leaf carefully down and picks up another. This leaf takes him to the same woman who is now the mother of two children and another on the way. It shows him a woman who works tirelessly on her husband’s farm. She keeps house washing and ironing and cooking, as well as milking the cows, chipping and picking cotton, feeding the fowls, and the poddy calves. She engages in the QCWA and her local church activities. This is tiring, constant but necessary work with her husband to keep their family afloat. Her children know the warmth of her loving embrace.
Other leaves pass through Adrian’s hands of this same woman who stands proudly beside her sister as her matron of honor. Another of her being there for her dying parents. The leaves come thick and fast: the face of excitement and joy at the birth of her daughter, and then many years later at her daughter’s wedding. Another flits by as she rejoices in her children’s achievements. Then there are their marriages and the grand-children which follow. Constantly this woman listens to those around her. She gives words of encouragement. Her love is obvious. She doesn’t always express it in words, but her actions and readiness to be present show it.
The leaves of the story of this woman and her impact upon those around her trickle through Adrian’s fingers. She has long departed from this earthly life….and gone to her eternal rest.
On this All Souls’ Day – or as they call it in Mexico “el Dia de los Muertos” – the Day of the Dead – on this day, Adrian reflects upon life and this woman.
Now he falls asleep and is dreaming. Suddenly a woman appears in the distance and draws closer. She calls out his name. He turns and looks at the woman, and deep from within as a little child, he responds, “Mummy!” Time freezes! And, then with arms outstretched, and cries of joy, they reach out and embrace deeply.
The love of mother and child transcends the circumstances and dimensions of time and space.
Text © Keith Slater
From a very young age I have been drawn to fictional stories drawing upon a combination of imagination and reality. This was encouraged by my desire to communicate in a meaningful way at a deeper relational level. This has led to the self-publishing of two books, “Camino to Love” and “To the Edge and Back?”
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Thanks instapoet1982. Memories come in many shapes and forms just like leaves.
Wow, that was a great story. The leaves as a! metaphor for memories is great.