The Sword Mother

Thursday, December 1, 2022

“Mama,” I whispered. “It’s snowed.”

Her frown tells me of her displeasure. “Is it spring yet?”

“Mama..”

“I know,” she interrupts. We have had this conversation a hundred times.

“You just looovvve the snow.” With a roll of her eyes and tone, she reminds me of the unshared sentiment.

“How about a bit for breakfast?”

Before I stumble to the stove, I add wood and starter sticks to reignite the fire. Winter chill just touches the inside air. We are still warm but the morning begs for a bit of flame. The furnace kicks in, but the wood heat seems to warm the inside of ones joints and bones.

“Mmm. Thank you, Daughter.”

With the banging of frying pans, Wally decides he needs to visit the outdoors. I let him out the front door. With him leaving, bitter cold air rushes in. I breathe deeply.

“It’s delicious,” I whisper back to the coldness. My lungs ache a bit with the temperature, but it’s a healthy feeling like scouring.

“How about a simple omelet?”

“No, no. Scrambled is just fine.”

But first, wood heat and frying bacon fill the air with the most intoxicating smells. I begin to brew coffee. Almost immediately the bacon smell fills the room with its own soft concoction of smokey maple and peppered wood.

The breakfast is quick. Toasted bread with a hint of melted butter adds to the perfect morning home perfume. Wally returns from his morning escapade. He dances at the deck doors. The southern exposure melts away the snow which stubbornly crusts over the deck planks. Wally half-barks to yammer his expectation to be let in. His breath steams into feathery white plumes.

“Come on,” as I let him in. Even the movement of the door sounds brittle. His doggy grandma treats him as he settles by her side. We laugh at his retreat from the cold.

My mum and I, we linger despite the dirty dishes which lie in front of us.

“How about another cup of coffee, then we pick up?” I am already halfway to the coffeemaker for refills.

“Do you remember the sword? Do you remember the sheath?”

“Oh, your father,” she replied. “You do have it?”

“Yes,” I answered, smiling.

“Here, Mum.”

“Oh, she smiled. “I will never forget the summer he carved that leather.”

She unbuttoned the flap to slide the sword partially out of its covering. I carried my coffee around the counter as I grabbed our used dishes.

Even with the morning’s bitter cold, twinkly dusty snow began to fall.

“That leather,” her eyes’ gaze pierced with recollection. “ Your father and that piece of leather…”

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