Photo Challenge #403- A Sacred Ground

Use the image as inspiration for a poem or short story.

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Photo Credit Sarah Whiley

A Sacred Ground

There they were. All my summer vacations documented in a stone memorial.
Our family didn’t have the means to visit the ranch every year. These rocks symbolized dog-years instead.
I was seven, once upon a time, and that’s when I found this secret spot. The first stone was my marker of the year I rode my first horse and had broken my wrist falling from the same.

The second and third kept a record of the “girl with strawberry curls”. I was too shy to express my adoration at 14 but we fatefully met again when I was 21. My life was forever changed that year.

The fourth stone marked our wedding right there at our happy place, on my 28th birthday, and the fifth commemorated the year our beautiful son, Anthony, was born. We wanted him to know that ‘Sacred Ground’ from the ‘beginning’ so Anthony rode his first horse swaddled in a pack on his mother’s back.

The sixth stone was a remembrance of all the other beautiful visits. It was dampened by tears of loss on that visit for Dad. Dad was the one who chose the vacation spot. I laugh remembering how he’d rub his hands in excitement while we packed for each trip. This year, he had succumbed to a sudden fatal heart attack at age 55. Mom would never be quite the same.

Mother refused a vacation pilgrimage seven years later and 14-year-old Anthony had joined a traveling baseball team, so our ranch vacations abruptly stopped.

Today I placed my stone-the last stone- on the temple I had started 80 years ago.
I am alone again at my special spot. Time has a way of moving ever more swiftly near the end, but a lifetime of memories is here still. My cane is all that supports me now.
I glance slowly around to etch this moment in my mind and those memories on my heart.
Then I close my eyes. To my startling surprise, I still hear a seven-year-old hollering “giddy-up!” in the wind.

Story from Random Words #3 “Life Noticed… Life Inspired”

Sharing MY moment with you.

The Creativity Games site has a random word generator for folks who wish for prompts for stories, poems or discussion. It has offered me a lot of fun. I am about to create my third story using 5 words that I got there. My personal exercise rules consist of developing a story in one sitting and as quickly as I can. Today’s words are:


Here is my story:

A blank stare and idle hands were not unfamiliar to me. It’s called “writer’s block”. As I waited for my creative juices to stir, my heart pounded. Creating a story is equivalent to giving birth in emotional satisfaction. When thoughts galvanise,  and a unique piece results, an extraordinary birth occurs. Even more than a normal birth, which takes two DNA donors, the new title comes only from myself.

Today my mind contemplates Mother Nature. She is a favorite subject and ever inspiring. I had a kid game that I used to play when I took long rides in the car on”old style” family vacations. There were no video players or hand-held electronic games in my childhood. The value of having nothing to entertain a child but their own imagination can not be measured or underestimated.

I called the game,”Never, Ever, going to see that again.” It consisted of one player, Me. Not a button, controller or battery needed.

I’d focus my attention on something outside my window. It was usually so small and insignificant that I knew only I would ever witness it. How often do we direct our attention to the ordinary, plentiful items that make up our world?

You’d think a bird would be a good subject. No way. That bird was bound to be witnessed by someone, somewhere, at a feeder or casting a shadow from above. My subject, most often, was one single leaf. A marvel of nature that was mine to behold and witness alone. The power in that “view of the world” has made me appreciate small things to a degree that I’ll always treasure.

This story was not only fun but true.