Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Evening Shade

Evening Shade

By gina below

The storm clouds stacked up ominously high into the sunset creating great mountains of dark pillars. The effect should have been frightening but the beautiful glow of the fading twilight would not be stamped out. Streams of brilliant colors in varying shades of pink, peach, magenta and lavender burst out from behind lighting them with a breathtaking scene.

The ceasing rain still trickled off the tin roof of the front porch, plopping gaily into the puddles below. The earlier torrent had created a waterfall effect off the front porch eaves and our young imaginations had taken full advantage of the unexpected delight. Now with the decline of the shower and the interruption with our supper the moment of unbridled imagination had passed and we watched with just a bit of disappointment as the spring storm moved on into the twilight and took our moments of engagement with it.

The screen door squeaked as our Daddy came outside, and he ruffled my dark hair as he walked by. The porch swing creaked as he took a seat and our constant chatter made him smile, but he said nothing as he watched us converse back and forth with each other. Although his smile would become bigger at something one of us had said, he sat quietly. He seemed happy to just sit in the deepening shade of twilight and listen to our laughter and the evening frog chorus. Mother joined him some moments later carrying a clean, sweet smelling baby in her arms and he smiled up at her as he moved over on the swing to make room for her and my little sister. They sat in comfortable silence and watched us as the porch swing lazily moved back and forth. The slight evening breeze was refreshing after the stifling kitchen heat and my Mother visibly relaxed.

The unmistakable sound of another screen door opening and closing made us look in the direction across the way and the sound of a banjo being tuned in the distance made my Daddy softly chuckle and say “I did not think this night could get any better, we are in for a treat”. As the banjo began to strum a recognizable melody, the distant screen door opened and closed several more times and other string instruments joined into the musical chaos of being tuned.

Our chatter stilled and we all found comfortable places to sit; mine was between my parents on the swing. As I tried to scramble up, Daddy reached dawn to assist me, and I snuggled between them with a sigh. Sudden silence, and then a distant voice briefly counted and then pure and beautiful music of stringed instruments wafted across the distant field. This was the music of pure joy and of people who had played together for a very long time, bluegrass, old country favorites, ancient folk songs, and of course gospel. They seemed to never miss a beat, and when they sang it was with precise and comfortable harmony. One song led immediately into the next, perfectly on queue and we all sat quietly engaged with the impromptu concert that seemed for our benefit alone. Sometime later as the music played on and the twilight faded into the evening shade, I drifted off to sleep, lulled into slumber to the tune of “I’ll Fly Away” and the soft beat of my Daddy’s heart.