Rays of Hope: Chapter 46

My state is now at about 50% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose! We are Phase 5 of reopening. We are in the “Bridge phase” of reopening. Still limited number of people in for large venues. Chicago has a unique approach: vaccinated people don’t count toward that limit. I love that positive way of motivating people.

Today we begin mask-mandate lifting for those people who are vaccinated. I admit, I feel a little uncomfortable going into closed spaces with unmasked people.

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

My progress on May His Tribe Increase finally moving forward.My two fellas’ memoir is back in their hands for a semi-final review.

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

Chapter 46

“Let’s stay here, forever.” Ray perches by the kitchen sink as she gazes at the full moon behind a gauzy curtain. She leans into Taedan standing behind her.

Marla stirs in her sleep beside a snoring Trumble.

“Maybe someday.” Taedan presses his lips to the crown of Ray’s head. “When we get the pH to rise a bit more. We need at least a four-point-zero help Gaia reestablish. Even then, that won’t support most food.”

“You mean less acidy?”

Taedan believes he feels Ray’s proud smile rise through her shoulders and shoot through the top of her head. Reflexively, he kisses the place. “Yes, indeed, my Smartypants. pH is a measure of Hydrogen ions.”

“And the more hydrogen, the higher the pH,” Ray completes the explanation.

For several seconds the air seems filled with static electricity. Taedan stares out the window wondering if his kiss was a mistake; Ray holds still considering whether her feeling are real. She reaches one hand back and places a palm on Taedan’s cheek.

“Okay, Mr. Long-legs,” she said. “What will it take?”

Taedan draws in a deep breath, considering her question. He decides to keep to the science.

“The black dust you found is a type of mold spore. Like the mycelium we found, it sets up a network. Mold likes things acidy, but it changes things to a more neutral pH as it grows and moves.”

“So it’s making things more livable for other things?”

“And it doesn’t need much light,” Taedan says.

“But why did Marla say I found a domino?”

“For one thing, the mold you found grows on corn.” Ray’s voice has a tremor that could be excitement or sadness. Ray swivels to look into his face.

“Corn was one of the first dominos to fall,” she says, remembering Marla’s story. “Because of the nematodes.”

“Did Marla tell you about the nematodes?” Taedan says.

Ray runs her forefinger over the deep creases between her fathers eyebrows. “You didn’t know,” she says. “You didn’t know.”

“The mold release water into the acidy soil as it grows.” The corners of Taedan’s mouth turn up in a forced smile. “When that evaporates, it slowly, slowly, ever-so-slowly starts to reduce the amount of acid in the air.

“Slowly, slowly, ever-so-slowly, we begin to see the moon.” Ray twists on her bottom to face the window again and leans her head against Taedan’s chest.

She recites a poem from a place of forgotten memories.

Kiss the moon for there he sleeps

tight curled in a ball,

Kiss the Moon by Lulu Gee

Taedan rests his chin on Ray’s forehead before he continues:

‘Cross the sky he slowly drifts

from his silv’ry bed,

smiling, smiling in the dark

Kiss. the Moon by Lulu Gee

“Tomorrow I’ll find a bird.”

“Make that today.” Taedan points to a hazy line of pink in the sky beyond the grasses. He helps Ray off the countertop before sending her off to sleep beside Marla.

Marla pulls Ray in close, little spoon into big spoon. The very act settles Marla’s sleep into a deep slumber. Ray is sure she’ll never fall asleep, but before Marla draws three deep breaths, Ray’s breathing matches her aunt’s and she’s dreaming of birds with shiny feathers connected to each other with silvery threads of mycelium.

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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