Friday, October 16, 2009

Diamonds in the Grass


Diamonds in the Grass

by Gina Below

The early morning breeze played with the tree branches and the sunlight danced with the shadows on my bedroom wall. There was no particular sound that seemed to have awaken me, all was silent, but the smell of hot homemade biscuits and bacon was a strong lure to leave my cozy bed. As silently as possible I stole out of my shared bedroom, careful not to wake my sister and I made my way to the kitchen. Surprisingly I found it empty, but the evidence that she had been there was overwhelming. Hot buttered biscuits, warm crisp bacon, coffee brewing, grits warm on the stove, fresh eggs waiting to be scrambled and homemade strawberry jam ready to be spread.

A buttered biscuit in one hand and a slice of bacon in the other fortified me as I quietly pushed the screen door open with my shoulder, careful not to let it slam and wake the others. The morning breeze greeted me and tickled my short brown hair as I stepped off the back porch. The bright sunlight had chased the pink and purple of the early dawn away, leaving dew drops to sparkle like diamonds in the grass. The flowers draped in their own jewelry, swayed slightly to the music of the morning. Bird songs accompanied me as I meandered past the garden. Corn stalks towered over me reaching for the blue southern sky and added their music to the symphony as their long leaves rustled in the breeze. My bare feet wet and coated with bits of grass went unnoticed as I finished the last of my breakfast. The brilliant strands of a spider web caught and held my attention at the end of the corn row. The dew creating strand after strand of intricate sparkling prisms. The large black and yellow garden spider was motionless as I admired her work and she seemed to care little of my critique.

I did not inherit her Native American stealth and I did not know she was there until her shadow fell across me. "It's good luck to have a garden spider in your garden" she said. "Really" I asked? She nodded and her free hand stroked my hair. She took my hand as we silently walked back to the house, the milk bucket swayed in her other hand. We let the music of the morning sing to us and it was as beautiful as the diamonds in the grass.

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Gina grew up on a farm in rural Cullman Alabama, which is North of Birmingham. She is one of seven siblings, number five to be exact. A truck drivers daughter with a heavy dose of Southern Baptist upbringing on her Mother's side thrown in for good measure. She and her husband of 25 years live on a farm in central Alabama where they raise cattle and their four children. Her husband Steve will be publishing his book next month "Pigskin Dreams".




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