Rays of Hope: Chapter 45

close up photography of brown grass Photo by Shelagh Murphy on Pexels.com

My state is now at almost 46% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose! Once we get up to 50%, we enter Phase 5 of reopening. Yet, yesterday my county had 100 new cases and the day before, 3 deaths.

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

Chapter 45

My progress on May His Tribe Increase is now at a planned standstill. Instead I’m focussing on my two fellas and their memoir.

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

If the Pedal Master gives her a second look, Ray takes no notice. She is too intent on getting to the Beach House.

That’s the name she gave to the place where her mother and Taedan lived; where Marla and Trumble joined her parents for long nights in deep conversation and planning; where she lived before her memories had words. The dreams Ray had of birds and water surely were from this house.

As they walk from the end of the Pedal-about line to the Beach House, Ray watches carefully for signs: a dandelion in a crack, a splat of bird guano, a web between the dried grasses.

“A little faster?” Marla holds a hand back toward Ray, wriggling her fingers.

In what looks like defiance, Ray stops dead in her tracks and gives Marla the universal signal for “be still:” a forefinger pointing straight up on the end of her outstretched arm. All three adults stop their progress and look in the direction of Ray’s gaze.

“What?” Taedan whispers.

Ray parts the dead grass with both hands. She takes a blade between gloved forefinger and thumb and gently wipes the length of the blade. A thin black dust collects on her glove. She fumbles for her sample envelopes, but Taedan is there with one of his own. Two sets of eyes crinkle at the edges as they meet in the middle.

“You sure have an eye for the minuscule,” Taedan says, twisting the envelope closed and slipping it into Ray’s backpack.

Ray would have missed the pride in his few words a few weeks ago. She would have overlooked the significance of Taedan’s actions. Not today. She bumps her shoulder against his as he crouches beside her studying the grass.

“Let’s snip some grass, too,” says Trumble. His Outsider cannot mute his excitement.

“What is it?” says Ray, but the adults maintain silence as they slip samples of dead vegetation and soil into sample envelopes. “What is it?”

Marla pulls Ray to her, holding her tight. “We’ll find out for sure. But you just might have found hope.”

Marla’s smile trembles and a single tear balances on the rim of her lower lid before it spills onto her cheek. “We need to get to the house. Remember the domino story I told you?”

Ray nods, holding her questions, making space for Marla’s thoughts to become words. She counts to five and lets her breath out slowly, swallowing her questions.

“You may have found a domino.”

Ray’s stomach pushes her heart into her throat where it pounds so loudly she can no longer find her own words. Her thoughts tumble over each other as her legs spring into action.

“Come on,” she says, holding one arm out toward Marla and the other toward the two men scribbling in their notebooks. “Let’s go. We have work to do.”

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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