Slice of Life, Chapter Two

(This is part of the Slice of Life Project)
I covet the quiet. The only sounds in the house this early in the morning are mechanical and I wish I could just throw a white noise filter over it all and let the solitude invade this space. It won’t be long before the first of three sets of footsteps come pounding down the stairs for the morning ritual. Time is precious in these first waking hours and I am at my most clear, most creative, most attentive to the purposes of my life as a writer.

Years ago, in youthful ignorance, I would sleep during this early morning time.  My life was in full slumber. No longer. Either it is age getting to me, or my mind working overtime at night and willing my body awake, I come to my senses in almost full alert each morning. I feel alive. If I am writing a song, the lyrics dance in my head and I must reach for paper before they are lost. If I am working on a story, the characters move in front of me. I understand them in ways I had not the day before.

This morning, the white coat of snow from yesterday’s storm still lingers on the yard outside and as the sun comes up, the neighborhood is peaceful. The sky is red and orange as the Earth twists itself into place for sunlight gathering. It is a time of potential, I feel, and I am part of that. Sometimes, here and at this hour, we see bears and deer walking through. One time, later in the morning hours, my sons and I even came upon two moose strolling through our streets and we were as surprised as they were. We wondered where they lived and where they would go but they galloped off at such surprising speeds for their size. They were gone before we knew it, before we could wonder if we really had seen moose.

And so, this morning, I look out my window and I wonder at the surprises that today might hold for us. And, as always, I write.

Peace (in slices of life),
Kevin

Slice of Life, Chapter One

(Note: I stumbled upon this Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers and I decided to venture forth. I’m not really sure what I need to be doing but that never stopped me before.)

My three year old sits on the left and the seven year old, on the right, and I am smack dab in the middle, with Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax open on my lap. The ten year old hovers, near enough to be part of the action but not right in the thick of it. The Lorax is a favorite of ours and today, I have brought out my digital voice recorder. I am trying to capture some of my sons’ voices in time, for memory’s sake, and I know the youngest loves to shout out “The Lorax” and “Brown Barbaloots” and other strange Seussian language.

We begin to read and the two youngest boys listen and join me like a chorus when prompted. The Lorax “speaks for the trees.” The Oncler is creating “gloppity glop.” We move through the story, snuggled close, and it reminds me of how special this kind of reading is and how connected a book can make us as a family. Even the older boy, still just beyond reach, is emotionally there with us. He remembers when it was just he and I reading this same book and he was the one shouting out “Swamee Swans” and “Truffula Trees” when given the chance. Is ten years old the age when they start pulling away? I hope not, I think, as the book continues to unfold.

At the end of the story, we pause, and the little one — three years old but wise beyond his years — makes the comment: “Where did all the Truffula Trees go? Why did they cut them down?”

Before I can answer, he comes up the answer: “For thneeds. Which nobody needs.”

The Lorax may never come back but he lives in our hearts at least.

Peace (in life),
Kevin

PS — interested in The Lorax?

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