Families First Families First AprilMay2017 : Page 20

As a direct lender, we process, underwrite, and fund all of our loans Call or text Call or text Marty Siklich 231.932.9486 NMLS #137305 www.MortgageTraverseCity.com www.MortgageGrandTraverse.com NMLS #1166350 Norm Clark 231.409.3800 Out of the Ashes Fiction by Jackie Bojarski I This is not an offer to make a loan or to make a loan on any particular terms. All loan applicants must qualify under the underwriting requirements and satisfy all contingencies of loan approval. GSF Mortgage Corp. NMLS# 1018. 15430 W. Capitol Drive | Brookfield, WI 53005. Equal Housing Lender. 3409 Veterans Dr., Ste. 2 | Traverse City, MI 49684 leave the house at the break of dawn, shoes and tote bag in hand. I rarely wear shoes in the early morning hours during the warm-er months; there is something about the feel of the earth on bare feet during that transition period, something addictive that I never want to take for granted. I remember first experi-encing it as a little girl, hand-in-hand with my mother, dashing in and out of the spring haze hovering over the lawn. Eventually, we would both collapse, laughing with abandon, our toes dirty and our hearts full. The memory takes me by surprise as I make my way to my car and I have to stop for a moment to catch my breath. My mother always had a particular love for spring, maybe because that was when she found out she was pregnant with me. She would say that she was walking on an unspoiled beach in the middle of a rainstorm, the sky a dove gray with just a tint of gold. She claimed that the rain felt different on her skin, creating a kind of vibrating energy she could feel down to her bones. And she knew. I never believed her, of course. After all, how could that be possible? But I liked to hear her recite that story—all her stories, in fact. Her voice would take on a musical quality that I loved, a quality in which I could get lost. We would curl up together on the window seat and I would drift in and out of her words, allowing her to paint pictures in my mind. When I got old enough, I would start telling stories of my own while she ran her fingers through my hair. I turn onto a back road, not bothering to signal my intentions. It’s not like it really matters. There is nobody else in sight, as far as I can see. In Port Sutton, silence is as pervasive as absence. On normal days, I treasure the fact that Nature here is relatively untouched by human hands. But today, it feels different. For the first time, I wish that I could hide amidst the chaos of the city, if only to escape my memories. I can smell the air outside changing, prompting me to roll down my window, want-ing to drink it all in. I am getting close to the beach. This had been our secret space. It was the first place we visited in the spring and the last place we visited in the summer. In the fall, I would run along the sandy shore amidst a kaleidoscope of fallen leaves, dazzling at the bite of cold in the air. And in the winter—oh, in the winter, it was silver and white, the water encased in crystalline ice, like a bride on her wedding day. After parking the car, I open the door and carefully set my feet on the sandy path. It is noticeably cold but not uncomfortably so. As I walk, it keeps me grounded, allowing me to focus on this moment instead of the thousand other moments stampeding through my mind. All the while, I clutch my tote bag close to my heart. Despite it being an unseasonably warm April, the beach is still transitioning; there are still a few vestiges of winter hanging on, but they are disappearing, giving way to spring. Above the frigid waves, the blush of day is spreading. I keep walking until I reach the edge, just out of reach of the water. I close my eyes, feeling myself surrounded yet comforted. I’m still not sure if this is the beach from my mother’s stories. She would never say for sure. But I want to believe that it is. With shaking hands, I set the bag down and reach inside, removing an opalescent urn. Its surface is as cold as the sand. I raise it to my lips and whisper, “I’ll tell her all of your stories, mama. I’ll tell her about the beach and the rain and I’ll take her here. I promise.” Then, I place a kiss on the small raindrop engraved on the front, open the top, and allow her to be carried away by the wind. I watch her go, becoming one with this place, my hands cradling the growing life inside of me. And I smile. Jackie Bojarski is an aspiring writer and author who graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She enjoys reading, playing with her dogs, and spending time with her friends and family. She currently lives in Leelanau County and appreci-ates the creative inspiration this area grants her. 20 • Families First Monthly • April/May 2017

Out Of The Ashes

Jackie Bojarski

I leave the house at the break of dawn, shoes and tote bag in hand. I rarely wear shoes in the early morning hours during the warmer months; there is something about the feel of the earth on bare feet during that transition period, something addictive that I never want to take for granted. I remember first experiencing it as a little girl, hand-in-hand with my mother, dashing in and out of the spring haze hovering over the lawn. Eventually, we would both collapse, laughing with abandon, our toes dirty and our hearts full. The memory takes me by surprise as I make my way to my car and I have to stop for a moment to catch my breath.

My mother always had a particular love for spring, maybe because that was when she found out she was pregnant with me. She would say that she was walking on an unspoiled beach in the middle of a rainstorm, the sky a dove gray with just a tint of gold. She claimed that the rain felt different on her skin, creating a kind of vibrating energy she could feel down to her bones. And she knew.

I never believed her, of course. After all, how could that be possible? But I liked to hear her recite that story—all her stories, in fact. Her voice would take on a musical quality that I loved, a quality in which I could get lost. We would curl up together on the window seat and I would drift in and out of her words, allowing her to paint pictures in my mind. When I got old enough, I would start telling stories of my own while she ran her fingers through my hair.

I turn onto a back road, not bothering to signal my intentions. It’s not like it really matters. There is nobody else in sight, as far as I can see. In Port Sutton, silence is as pervasive as absence. On normal days, I treasure the fact that Nature here is relatively untouched by human hands. But today, it feels different. For the first time, I wish that I could hide amidst the chaos of the city, if only to escape my memories.

I can smell the air outside changing, prompting me to roll down my window, wanting to drink it all in. I am getting close to the beach. This had been our secret space. It was the first place we visited in the spring and the last place we visited in the summer. In the fall, I would run along the sandy shore amidst a kaleidoscope of fallen leaves, dazzling at the bite of cold in the air. And in the winter—oh, in the winter, it was silver and white, the water encased in crystalline ice, like a bride on her wedding day.

After parking the car, I open the door and carefully set my feet on the sandy path. It is noticeably cold but not uncomfortably so. As I walk, it keeps me grounded, allowing me to focus on this moment instead of the thousand other moments stampeding through my mind. All the while, I clutch my tote bag close to my heart.

Despite it being an unseasonably warm April, the beach is still transitioning; there are still a few vestiges of winter hanging on, but they are disappearing, giving way to spring. Above the frigid waves, the blush of day is spreading. I keep walking until I reach the edge, just out of reach of the water. I close my eyes, feeling myself surrounded yet comforted. I’m still not sure if this is the beach from my mother’s stories. She would never say for sure. But I want to believe that it is.

With shaking hands, I set the bag down and reach inside, removing an opalescent urn. Its surface is as cold as the sand. I raise it to my lips and whisper, “I’ll tell her all of your stories, mama. I’ll tell her about the beach and the rain and I’ll take her here. I promise.” Then, I place a kiss on the small raindrop engraved on the front, open the top, and allow her to be carried away by the wind. I watch her go, becoming one with this place, my hands cradling the growing life inside of me. And I smile.

Jackie Bojarski is an aspiring writer and author who graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She enjoys reading, playing with her dogs, and spending time with her friends and family. She currently lives in Leelanau County and appreciates the creative inspiration this area grants her.

Read the full article at http://digital.zoompubs.com/article/Out+Of+The+Ashes/2756730/398403/article.html.

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