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Written in response to the prompt “What’s in front of me?” September 15, 2012 during our stay at Chateau du Pin in France.

Across the calf of my right leg, ankle resting on left knee, I see a low rectangular table crafted of ancient wood.  In juxtaposition to the ancient wood there lay an Apple laptop and iPad, among the latest and most advanced technology of our time.  What contrast of the then and now.

To the left of the computers is a bottle of fresh water with my name written on it.  A source of refreshment just for me.  Behind the water bottle wildflowers gracefully stretch up out of an old ceramic vase.  These aren’t just any ordinary wildflowers.  There are 14 stems of Queen Anne’s Lace that called to me this morning as I padded through the soft grass around the vineyard.

My thoughts had been wandering until I rounded the southeast corner of the field and saw the lacy sprigs of white dancing before me, beckoning to me. “We are your children.  Take us back to be with our mothers.”  I stood in their midst, slowly turning to see which ones would speak.

“Here, in the middle, standing tall.”

“Over here, close to the edge of the trees.”

“Back here, you missed me.”

Carefully, I watched and listened and gathered the blossoms one by one.  1, 2, 3, 4…all the way to 14.

As I began to walk again two more called to me,  “You took the wrong ones.  Take us instead.”  So I replaced the two that didn’t belong with the last two who spoke.

Off I went, our children held lovingly together in my hand as we walked and talked together.  They told of Elizabeth Anna and Caroline Elizabeth caring for Jack, Abby and Malcolm…of ballgames with Wes, Andy and William…Rebecca dancing to the music of Katie and Ryan…and of everyone being kept together by Alex, Branner and Steve because they were older and know so much more.  They laughed and danced and played and loved.

I passed a black feather along the old entry road to the Chateau.  A few steps later they told me to turn around and add the feather to their group.  No particular reason, just because they liked it.  They said you all would understand.

They said they are happy we are here together and they are here too.  “Hi mom.  Come out and visit with us in the fields, gardens and forests of this ancient estate.”

Another contrast of then and now.