Moonlit Winter Wellspring
By Miles A Moody
Will he be irksome in my neglect, that I came to reckonin’ more in life than haying the cattle on a Saturday afternoon; that maybe a feller druther pass time with a girl named ‘Daisy’ over same time spent with some ole like named milk cow. Would he know I’m not that wet-behind-the-ears scatter-brained nincompoop he had to study after like a mule through most of my young life? Can he recollect for an instant that a man such as I’ve become likes the business of a woman more’n shuckin’ corn and layin’ away hay? Can he speculate on it without tinkerin’ at my motives, without presumin’ the very worst of me? Would it set him on his heels to wonderin’ that I might like the way her eyes light up at the sight of me comin’ over the hill better’n any prospects for easin’ my heat in the carnal use of her; that a light touch of her hand in mine suits me as fine answer to ‘bout all of my needs? Not a soul on this earth can understand how I feel; but maybe Papa does, just maybe he will.
The moon’s sittin’ high in the night pitching silver-cold sparkle wherever I look in a breeze gusting sideways right often enough to send a chill down my neck and set me to bristlin’ that maybe them cows could ‘a waited out the night for their feed. That ole hay rake’s a-sittin’ over yonder out in the open in a flurry of snow like to beat the second comin ’ all to hell. I ought ’a brought it in long before winter set in. It’s plumb bone rackin’ cold and chilled as I be, I could sorely use a drink of a crystal clear draught. This old well house is mighty sparse cover in a storm, but her water don’t ice, ever how bitter it gets. Why in all that’s wholly warm and safe away in the night would this here fool be out wanderin’ betwixt duty and dreams? And hunkered down parched in the lee of a storm in no hurry to get anywhere other than right where he’s at? My lord, how the wind sets itself a-glistening like magic’s come ‘round; what’s never dared been foreseen just might be walkin’ afoot.
Now the wind eases off into a pure range of hauntin,’ tempting me to whoa-back and no longer deprive. Scuttlin’ curtains draw thin o’er the face of the moon; the snow splatters in clusters drifting light as you please, cold and dry as winter’s bone. This crusty old bucket will have to do for a cup; water never tasted no better than it does here and now, and me caught in-between how it is and how it can be; how it’s changin’ as I let go how I’ve caused it to be.
I was just another everyday fool ‘till I met her, ‘till then, and a love-sick puppy for a spell after that. She laughed and I cried and after-while I stopped hurtin,’ started seein’ in me someone after her view; a man not too proud to count himself lucky to trod a might higher than he believed he ever could.
It was all frozen black painted white in me before I first knew her; I’m as good as any man and better than most was what I would have told her if ever she’d asked me; she didn’t and I didn’t since there wasn’t much aim. Being with her brought hope that I could rein back in my runnin’ away from the hurt; pain I toted down so deep I forgot where I put it, numb as a drunk on the fourth of July. I woke up one day feelin’ dead inside a’scratchin’ my ass at the conniption I was in.
“You ain’t how you feel though in feels true as hell’s parson come ‘a knockin’ August-noon.”
She didn’t make the back row of good sense when she said this, but them eyes spoke plain enough for to knock holes in my conclusions you could herd cattle through. T’weren’t damnation’s hell fire in nothin’ she said, not the first lick of blame to sin-salt my offences. Somethin’ in me pricked up its ears to take a good listen; my head was a straggler; my heart knew the truth.
I been hearin’ only lies since the day I was born such that I got damn good at spellin’ lies at myself. When you cross lanes with a truth-teller it’ll set your head spinnin’ ‘cause somewheres deep down in you there’s a place set aside to start up a ruckus when the truth comes along; like snow in midsummer, like long-sight at midnight, you’ll know somethin’ just lit into you that might set you a’ right.
The storm’s subsidin’, the cold losin’ its chill; ground all around me moon-kissed in white – the feeling only obliges in remindin’ me but that it’s transpirin’ still. I feel the light on my face warming me to my soul, my heart opening to allow it, to drink it in, taking it into the deep and the darkness can’t continue to be what it is.
I’m not whitewashed black brokenness, not as I believed. I am made of this love; its touch shakes me from my nightmare, wakes me, and sends me on my way abidin’ with me as part of me, though I am forever free to deny its presence, and deny that I’m part of it. That’s how I got like I was. I reckon I’ll not be blindin’ me in my thinkin’ like that anymore. Though life’s tough times storm all around me I’ll not be shuttering my heart. I know how that feels, all lost and alone, wanderin,’ abandoned; storin’ up hope along the shadowed short rows whut come at both ends to the woods and too much more of the same disappointment. She had a brand new perspective on how to do life; I like how she did it – by God, I do. I reckon to get at it and give it a run. It’s the only way I can find out for m’self.
Well, the storm’s lifted and I got to get home. Like the poet said, I’ve got miles to go before I sleep and promises – to myself – to keep.
I’ve got me a feelin’ they understand. Papa and Momma understand. Yep, I reckon so. I surely do.
©2012 Miles A Moody All Rights Reserved. Please kindly refrain from copying/duplicating this written work without my written permission. Thank you.
One person’s perspective in having given himself over to loving the truth to discover that it had everything to give and nothing to ask of him except a life lived increasingly free of fear. “Moonlit Wellspring” is related to another of my stories, “Raking Snow” which is told about the father from a witness perspective. Raking Snow?