Rays of Hope: Chapter 41

gray feather on tree stem Photo by Isaque Pereira on Pexels.com

My state is now at about 26% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose! I’m now among the fully vaccinated. Loved-One, is finally eligible for vaccination, and is scheduled to get his first dose in three days.

My county has called in the National Guard to help get jabs into people’s arms. The state plans to open up vaccinations to everyone before the end of March.

Here’s a link to the tool developed by professors at Georgia Tech. Maybe it will help in your decision-making.

Chapter 41

My progress on May His Tribe Increase is floundering. Eldie and his brothers are so upbeat, I’m having a hard time keeping up with them. But, I have been having fun helping two fellas write their memoir.

I’m doing some technical writing for a pharmaceutical company. I wonder if I’ll get some time to paint the bathroom. My to-do list is growing.

If you’re here for the first time, and you’re interested in starting at Chapter 1 of Rays of Hope, click here.

“We found a feather.” Ray starts talking before she pulls her Outsider off. She pulls the feather from her backpack.

Taedan swallows his heart back into his chest as he decodes Ray’s mumbled words and he understands she said ‘feather,’ not ‘father.’

“Well, good morning to you, too,” he says with no attempt to hide his delight at Ray’s enthusiasm.

“I thought we’d end up exploring all through the night,” laughs Marla. “I could hardly get her home for dinner, and we completely skipped lunch.” She unloads her satchel. Each sample neatly labeled with location, time of day, and environmental conditions.

“I didn’t need a label.” Ray dances with the feather floating it above her head, and swooping it down with both arms spread wide. “I’ll never forget where I found it.”

“Tell me, so I can be there with you.” Taedan takes up his notebook, licks a pencil tip, and begins to write, asking questions to get a complete, scientific accounting. A smile tickles the corners of his mouth.

Marla and Trumble gesture to Taedan and head to the laboratory to prepare some chicory tea. Marla’s heart feels lighter than it has since her sister passed away. The foursome almost seem like a family. Marla is sure the hole in her heart will never be gone, but new memories buttress the old pain and she acknowledges a wary contentment. Ray has always given her joy; a joy that’s buoyed her through a sea of grief. Growing beside her new contentment Ray discovers a feeling long buried: hope.

“I almost missed it,” says Ray. “And then I saw something that looked like white hair.” She squats with her hands resting on the floor between her knees making little digging motions with one finger and tipping her head to one side.

“Like this,” she says. “I scraped bit by bit, tiny pieces of hard dirt away.” She looks at Taedan. “Like you showed me when we went to Milwaukee.”

Taedan looks up from his writing. “Bring it here, so I can get a better look.” He pulls a macroscope out of its protective case, takes the feather from Ray’s hands, and places it on the table.

“She’s a stubborn one,” says Marla coming with Trumble from the laboratory. “I didn’t believe her. And I was starving. All I wanted was to get home before darkness came. But she insisted that white thread was something.”

“She’s got a good eye.” Trumble sets a mug of chicory tea on the table for each of them.

“Come here and take a look.” Taedan beckons his daughter to his side. He shows her how to adjust the distance of the macroscope to focus on the feather.

Ray feels inches taller. He’s asking her to look before the two adults.

“Tell me what you see.”

“A waxy point,” Ray says. “fine white feathers between straight, still feathers.”

“What else?”

“Tiny bits of red on the waxy point.”

“What else?”

Ray’s head lowers between her shoulders and she wills her eyes to see more. What else is there?

“Black specs,” Ray says balancing her words somewhere between triump and doubt.

Marla suck in her breath. She and Trumble clunk their mugs to the table at the same time.

“Look closer at the specks.”

“Hair?” Ray looks up and into the gold specs in Taedan’s brown eyes. “Are they legs?” she whispers.

“Mites.” Taedan throws back his head and laughs. You brought me mites.” His laugh booms from his toes and infects every other person in the room.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Good Gracious! Sunshine and promises sure lifted my spirits.

I hope you are enjoying Ray’s journey.

Until next Friday, when we’ll both learn more.


Reading is like food for the soul. u003cbru003eWriters like to eat biscuits, too.

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