It was early afternoon, and we’d just finished lunch. Wanting to do nothing more than read our books and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Scott carried our chairs down to the edge of the Kings River. I followed, books and little Tufa in hand.
We looked at the river for a while, then settled into our chairs. Tufa promptly fell asleep in my lap, and I just as promptly got engrossed in the book I’d brought specially for this trip, The Inn at Corbies’ Caww by Verlyn Flieger. Scott settled into his chair with Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
He tells me he felt them before he saw them. “Something calling me,” he says, “kind of like a sound on the breeze.” He turned around and gazed at a redwood tree so tall, so ancient that it tickled the clouds before sending them, laughing, on their way across the sky.
And he saw what was calling him: two sets of prayer beads, blowing in the wind.
We walked over to the tree to take a closer look. They looked very old, as if they had hung there for more than one circle of the seasons. Their cords were frayed, fragile.
I suggested Scott take the beads with him. “I think they’re a gift from the Universe,” I told him. But he disagreed. He thought they were there for a reason, as an offering to all who wandered by.
They were his discovery, not mine. They spoke to him, not me. I left them hanging on the tree, where we found them.
Later, when we returned home, Scott wrote a beautiful poem about his experience with the prayer beads. I am honored he agreed to share his work with my blog readers. Here is his poem:
Pray for me
by Scott Zeidel
The horizontal beam of the cross
is broken, missing,
now scattered in the breeze.
The sad shadow of a deity
is burned in it,
crying from breathing the pain
of those who have wandered by.
The second pendant,
like a Medieval icon,
has an etching of a flower
swirling around the words,
“Pray for me.”
A plea among trees,
to an angel,
I decide to leave the rosaries behind,
as they had before.
And wander by.
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For those of you who wish to put a face to the name, here’s a photo of Scott. A poet by avocation, he is, by trade, an adjunct professor of music at Mt. San Antonio Community College in Walnut, CA, and a gifted classical guitarist. In his off time during the summer months, he is a prolific tomato farmer in our little backyard garden. Here he is, in front of the tomatoes, guitar in hand. If you could hold a poem, he’d have that in hand, too.
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Please take the time to check out Smoky’s books at the link above, as well as further explore her Website. If you’re on Facebook, you can like her author page by clicking the link on the right; if you’re on Twitter, you can follow her by clicking the Twitter link. She follows back.