Sunday, March 3, 2013

Emmaleigh's Shoe.......


 
     Emmaleigh cried for days after that Sunday….
That Sunday when Mother reached carefully under her trundle cot to pull out the wonderful little high-button shoes Poppa had purchased for her to wear with her church dress.  Even though she was too young to talk, she knew something was wretchedly wrong when Mother’s hand came back with only one shoe. Sundays became a melancholic ritual for Emmaleigh from then on.
  

                 Over the years, as Emmaleigh grew older, the painfulness of Sundays slowly, but lethargically, diminished.  Like the light at the end of the day, the hurt grew a little softer, and a little less pronounced.  Yet, every night before she drifted off to sleep, she let her hand roam quietly and carefully under the dark absyss under her cot – hoping that, just maybe, her hand would find the little shoe – somehow overlooked in the countless searches that preceded this one. 

 

     And so it was a very curious thing that happened one night as she lay in that trundle cot as she had every night of the past 15 years of her life.  The early March wind had been particularly merciless the entire day and seemed to have renewed its frenzy with the coming darkness, bringing on its wings an ice-edged rain.  Emmaleigh tossed restlessly under the nubby, tattered, ticking of her covers, trying to stay warm and willing the wind to subside.  Then it began…an incessant, haunting, scratching at the wood door braced close against the elements for the night.  After an eternity of hesitation, Emmaleigh crept to the door and, using her slight frame as a ballast, wedged the door open against the wind gusts and peered out onto the stoop.  There balancing precariously and cocking its head ever so knowingly, stood a raven.  Even in the dark of the storm, she could see him peering directly and precociously at her, and the blue black of his wings glistened as he took flight into the night.  Puzzled, Emmaleigh pulled the door close again, but finding it would not close cleanly, bent down and picked up something wedged on the threshold…. Soaked and shivering, she hurried back inside and raised the lantern light.  She wouldn't have even needed to bother, however, with the weak and timid light of the lantern as her fingers knew, before it was even raised, what she held.  The touch of the supple leather, the ridges of the welted stitching, and the round little buttons told her it was....her shoe.


     The shoe was considerably more worn than when it had disappeared, and tattered by more than just a lifetime of Sunday wear.  It was lovingly mended with string and thread harvested from nests of prior seasons, but there was no doubt it was her shoe.


So, carefully, Emmaleigh wrapped the shoe in a leftover scrap of her stitching linen and tied it with a piece of silk floss.  And, with a heart full of bittersweet joy, she tucked it in the corner of the dark recesses under her trundle cot.
   

14 comments:

Cindi said...

Did you write this? Love it and love the pictures.
Be blessed,
Cindi

Jan - Life on Buttermilk Hill said...

Sweet story...I often wonder about the stories behind the old things I collect....the weary housewife who toiled washing small things in the basins, hefted the enamelware coffeepot from the stove, and mixed hundreds of cakes in the old stoneware bowl. I have a pair of shoes much like those in the story and the softness of the leather does tell a story of countless times mother held a wiggly toddler while trying to put shoes on. :) ---Jan

Susannah said...

So sweet snd wonderful! If you wrote this ...you should continue to write. Write more for us! It was delightful!

Primitive Stars said...

Evening Dear Crow, , loved that story.....you had me so intrigued......please write more if you wrote it........Love the little worn shoe, the old pictures are precious too.......I bought a little old white shoe long ago, funny, just the one but very dear to my heart...... Prim Blessings Francine.

Kaisievic said...

Love your story, so atmospheric and lyrical.

annie said...

cute!

bettyj said...

did you write this story? If so it needs to be published. Thanks so much.

Raggedy Creations said...

wonderful little story Robin, thanks for sharing.

Felicia

A Primitive Homestead said...

The little worn shoe is so precious & photos and story are wonderful. You are such a creative writer. Your words draw the reader in and makes them feel what your saying. Blessings! Lara

Teresa said...

I loved the story and pictures! Well told. I can feel her thoughts in each part of the story.

Primlish ♥ said...

ROBIN...will this be a chapter of your children's short stories...? I'm telling you, and so is everyone else, you need to do this!! WONDERFUL story!!

Karen said...

Robin I'm in awe at this story...whether true or fiction I think it is just beautiful.
Hope we can hear 'the rest of the story' about Emmaleigh's shoe....and who she was.
Karen

Margie said...

Wow Robin...Now I know why I have missed you so much...you have a way at pulling at my heart and making me smile. You are a natural born story teller and I could read what you have to say for hours and hours...Please keep it up. Maybe you will find another item in the mail that will inspire you ...

Hugs,
Margie

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Such a wonderful story Girlfriend!!!
TFS
Prim Blessings
Robin