Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ema Mims Yet Speaks On The Whispered Wings Of Golden Silence

On the whispered wings of golden silence, I left my vigil at Ema Mims bedside. Ever so tenderly, I closed the door to her familiar, warm bedroom leaving behind the scent of talcom and liniment.

Somewhere from the depths of this gracious old home of my childhood memories, the willing ancient boiler could be heard gently purring whilst sending a swirling brew of warmth through the flooring grates. As I moved forward, at once deeply entrenched in my reveries, I gingerly sidestepped the scattered long loved ancient rugs that lay upon the wooded floor. Their weave unmistakably bore the intricately worn and woven footsteps of Emas' life well loved and lived.

Here too, within this room sheltered from the dark of the night beyond, there was no escaping the sounds of a howling winter storm breathing heavily unto Gettysburg, with a fervor worthy of the horses of the apocalypse. I acutely feared the Gettysburg roads leading both inward and outward to town were closed, most certainly by now. Gettysburg was isolated and on her own.

I lingered a moment beside the small upright blonde piano before pressing onward to the kitchen beyond. There, propped stalwart upon a tediously and delicately embroided runner and amidst dried rose petals, lying haphazardly upon the piano, were the faces of my past and Emas' yesterdays' singing out to me. My eyes alighted, in particular, upon a fading to white sepia picture of Ema and her young sister, Claire. Ema, her back to the cameras' eye was poised, pulling Claire through mountains and mounds of snow in a gay rustic child's sleigh. Ema was dressed in a high collared, fine woolen coat and gloves and a durable knitted and bobbed hat. The household budget would only strain so far for utility and rarely ever vanity and fashion, I had recalled Ema remarking in the past.

Aunt Claire, much younger than Ema, clutched a blanket in her toddlers' stout arms, as she laughingly embraced the cool sting of the winter air and the sluice of snow parting beneath the sled blades. Claire, Ema had said, was a naturally, all precocious child and her smile captured a million hearts in the luminous glow of her exhilaration. These innocents, I thought, tis a blessing that they did not know all that life had held in store for them in their years to come. Claire was spared the knowledge that her young life would be cut short in her blossoming womanhood, more's the pity, for I would have loved to have met this vivacious, adventurous and unyielding woman of Ema Mims recollections.

Absently, moved by unbidden and powerful emotion, with a slow sweeping movement, I reached forward to caress the unyielding glass frame picture of these sisters engaged in the serious business of play.

Emas' words, echoed to me from another treasured day and cherished moments spent together. While she harvested a summer gardens bounty,I ever, watched on in undying devotion and love.  It was a brilliantly white sunny day then, as we sat near the smoke bushes in the rear yard. The ever industrious bees could be heard buzzing monotonously amidst the old fashioned cabbage roses.  The cloying scents of  Bee Balm and Lavender intermingled with the curious, but familiar sound of the occasional whish snap of freshly laundered crisp cotton sheets drying where they hang swirling in the ocassional breeze. This grandeur of setting altogether painted a beautiful memory for me.