Emily’s Eden

Here is an excerpt from an old story of mine.  I was 16 when I wrote it.  It is 100% fiction, a rewrite of a story I started when I was 10.  I used my own name merely because, at the time, I couldn’t come up with another.  🙂  Enjoy!

Emily’s Eden

Dusk had fled the earth, giving way as thick, inky darkness settled snuggly about the atmosphere.  At one small farm in northwest Minnesota, it cloaked the forest of mighty spruce and oaks like a dreary, foreboding presence of evil.  But there, cutting through it with a righteous blaze of light, hung the moon, full and powerful.  It was God’s symbolic disciple, turning what usually represents evil into a place of peace and serenity.   How many of us can deny that Power, that magnetic Pull?  That which settles over our souls and whispers words of comfort and encouragement into our ear.  It comes in various ways and places.  To a farmer, that still small voice comes in their tractors; no one around but wide open sky and acres of dirt and dust.  After a long day’s work, you stand back and view what you’ve accomplished and sigh in contentment.   Many find it listening to the radio, cruising down the interstate, or lying in a boat in the middle of a lake with the sun shining on your face and the wind blowing your hair.  Many cowboys simply jump on a horse and trot across the prairie or up a hill and look down over the world.  Children-or children at heart-may lie in the grass and look at cloud formations or stars.   But no matter how it happens, what’s important is that it is.  We cannot deny it.

Neither could young Emily Hill.  She, a girl imprisoned in the harshness of our modern culture.  A victim.  One denied of her rights as child and her freedom of sweet naivety.  A living, breathing tragedy, who represents millions of other little Americans.

So many times in her short eight years, Emily had come achingly close to finding that eternal peace.  That satisfying purpose in life.  She had held it in her hands time and again, only to have it slip through her fingers like sand.  Why wouldn’t it stay?  Just once, couldn’t this deprived, needy child hold sweet understanding, if only for a minute?

Yet, how could she?  How could anything sweet, holy and pure enter a place full of bitterness, anger and cursing?  Does God Almighty lower himself to the devil’s level to help us?  How could He?  Or instead, does he send us all “moons” to pierce through the evil and reach the lost souls?  If so, Emily could have used one.

It was all part of the vicious circle that made up her world.  Neglected children didn’t have parents who would take them places, to run into people who would notice her, would see the silent plea in her eyes, and would help her.  And what no one saw, no one could solve. 

And so she sat, waiting night after precious night for it to happen. And tonight, she had just missed another chance.  “It” was the aforementioned peace.  The peace Emily knew was there, and was waiting to catch.  She had already decided how it would happen; picked out the right combination of nature’s gifts.  She had ordered a bright, full moon, and a strong, healthy tree to climb.  It would be planted next to the river that snaked through their woods.  She would climb as high as she was able and lay there all night, listening to the river gurgling and the owls hooting…that was what would give her that connection, that peace. 

But her full moon, so luscious just last night, tonight was already receding.  She’d missed it yet again.  If only she could find such a place; such a tree.  Deep down she knew it was there.  She didn’t know how she knew; it wasn’t something she could explain.  Not that she’d ever try.  Her parents would laugh at her.  No, this was her one little secret.

Emily also believed this is what would give her fulfillment.  Peace, happiness, joy, harmony, love…these were the essence to what life was all about.  It was also what she had none of. 

Some nights, as she lay in bed, and what she’d termed as her “soul ache” grew unbearable, she’d whisper aloud all the blessings she had in her life.  That list is what put me to shame and urged me to study and recount her life for you.  Emily was achingly honest, and there was but one human name on it:  her infant brother, Jimmy.  The rest went something like this:

  • The sky, the way it turns so blue it makes my eyes hurt, or becomes so gray and angry I immediately want to apologize to it for some unknown wrong.
  • The Clouds, the ones that billow up like marshmallows, or spread thinly across the sky as if Mother Nature smokes cigarettes…or maybe a cigarillo.  (Then she usually named a specific cloud she’d seen that day.)
  • The Bright Sun that bathes my hair
  • The glowing moon reminds me of a sharp knife.
  • The River, that sings its own special song to me.
  • The weeping willow in the backyard that looks like its nymph must have died and cries for her at night.
  • Mother Birch, for only scolding me lightly with a scrape on my elbow when I knew I climbed her too high. 

Her list went on and on like this…appreciating things I don’t even glance at anymore.  And not even having the stuff I do appreciate.  I learned much from this young girl’s life, and invite you to do the same…

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2 Responses

  1. Honestly Emily, i am loving your page from head to toe. Especially, i love the title of your page … footsteps of life; a walk down my path. It was so beautifully crafted!!!

    Hugs + Kisses….nice work.

    Always,
    Me.

  2. Ah, thanks T.J. It’s comments like these that make my day!!

    Blessings,
    Emily

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