The Red Barn

THE RED BARNWe have a writer’s club at work and gather every few months. Each person takes a turn picking a topic, usually giving three prompts to use for either poetry or a short story. The random prompts have offered a nice break from focusing on a manuscript that has consumed much of my free time over the last year plus months.

For our first gathering, the topic was an image from last year’s calendar hanging on a co-workers wall. The five of us each has an entirely different take on the picture.  Here is mine.

The Red Barn

Afternoon sun stained the sky, a blushing of crimson in the distance
creating a magnetic connection pulling me on this peaceful adventure
the scene completely capturing me within this picturesque setting
drawing me on toward an unintended destination
a hint of red sitting at the end of an undisturbed sea of white

It is impossible to view the virgin white snow ahead
without thinking of the field as a metaphor of change
all of yesterday’s imperfections filled in, coated over, renewed
just for today, a clean slate to be filled with the moment
purely and simply, the peaceful feeling of living in the present

As I approach what used to be on the horizon, crunching through fresh snow
making the most of this day’s trek into nature’s perfection
creating impressions with the exertion of each new step
I come across an unexpected scene of beauty
hiding in the camouflage of the red barn taking shape ahead

Safe from the vulnerability of the contrasting whites
hidden by the backdrop of color and the cover of semi-coated trees
an active community of cardinals rule the roost
the bright fluttering of males showing off, flashing their charm
trying to attract the brown females appraising from the tree branches

As I watch from afar, the blur of flight adds action
the stillness exists even though activity abounds
branches bend, berries fall, snow flutters, needles travel on the cool air
the wind lends its voice to the chittering of unseen wildlife
filling the senses with the exquisiteness of nature

I slow my approach so as not to interfere with the courtship
as I lean against a broken post, a new calm takes me
making me feel at one with the beauty of the sight
a gentle breeze blows past me, carrying a swirl of light snow
reminding me of the need to capture a picture of this beautiful landscape

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