A piece of unedited opening paragraph for what is shaping up to become
The Firefly Ballet
The obtrusively loud white noise-ish monotonous drone of the air conditioner comes close to drowning out all the glorious summertime evening sounds of this tiny plot hosted by the Eastern-most foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The beloved cooling yet audibly despised garish air conditioner. The house had to be kept cool for her ailing mother therefore the air conditioner was running much of the time, especially on these hot days.
Today had been a rare day of extraordinary high heat but low humidity making the evening outside comfortably cooler (82F) and breezy. Earlier in the evening, she made a quick run to the co-op for magnesium cream to help her mother’s cramping toes. When she stepped out of the store, the air had such a magical quality of an exacting balance of heavy heat and low humidity with a slight breeze, a convection oven hug feeling, that she was struck with the instant memory of what was considered a cool winter night on the West coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Her parents lived there at one point in their active lives. She visited them frequently during that expat phase.
Feeling the air earlier that evening with the split-second memory of Saudi Arabia was pleasant. Right now, the air conditioner droned on unpleasantly.
When the house had reached its set temperature, the ac noise suddenly broke, revealing sweet bird “good night” songs, rustling lush greenery, scampering squirrels and the beginning tiny hoots of the most recent wildlife resident – an owl. She hadn’t heard an owl from her backyard for at least five years now, and she welcomed the chance to absorb the hoot hoot hooting song. Soaking in all of the wild goodness’s until the air conditioner once again blocks out most of the surrounding nature noises.
One thing the air conditioner, or sweet memories of expat days, cannot block out is her spiraling mind. The fear that what has happened should not have happened, or somehow, she should not have allowed it to happen, or perhaps she made missteps to make it happen, how could she have prevented it from happening.
The worst spiral of all of course, is what if it happens again with irreversible and worse consequences. When that worst spiral happens, she begins her ritual of touching base again with reality.
The reality is that right now, she is safe.
Right now, her son is safe.
Right now, her mother is safe.
Right now, the house is secure and safe.
Right now, the threat is far away with no reasonable access to her home, her son, her mother or herself.
In this moment, in this time, in this house, in this space, with this breath, they are safe.
Love, Ms Herisme xoxo