I finally conquered my dated technology and gained access to my writings.
Most of what I’ve written is about my years in Hungary which also happens to be the exact location of my heart (on most days). The first story I’ll post is “Simplicity and the Stars.” Please feel free to leave feedback. Some are shorter than others, more vignettes or “glimpses” as I like to call them into experience I had. Later, I’ll include short stories, much longer in length than these that are unrelated to my time abroad. thanks.
SIMPLICITY AND STARS
I think there are two things I miss most. Both leave a throbbing vacancy in my heart: simplicity and the stars. Hungary has been showered upon with a magical passing of time – it doesn’t. Somehow, God has held back the ever-proceeding hands of time and kept them at a leisurely pace to please even a city girl. I often spent my spare hours walking through the woods picking flowers. The woods contain a clan of spirits that refuse to live anywhere else; they anoint the doors with a drawing curiosity and a lingering mist. The smell, oh the smell of fresh pines and earth. Early Spring held the treasure of lily of the valley protected by their almost too-heavy deep green leaves. The woods embodied a melange of fear and joy. There was nothing quite as soothing then to walk along with the freedom of thought. Yet, there was nothing quite as frightening as being alone and away from all safety and security. Perhaps it was my relentless search of adventure and solitude that lead me always to the woods.
Everything, even life in the capital, seemed to be at a pace slightly more lethargic then elsewhere. Not to say the Hungarians are prone to laziness, quite the opposite. They are so diligent and work so hard, they magically get done all that’s necessary and smell the flowers, enjoy a peach or watch a bird. I learned to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and take joy in the simple tasks. To spend a mid-summer’s afternoon picking apricots for jam or picking and pitting sour cherries for sauce was necessary and therapeutic.
While living in a southern village, my mornings were spent in the kitchen with grandma. It was months before I was allowed to cook a simple meal in her 6X4 palace of spices and sauce, not for hospitality’s sake, but because she might as well have shared her husband with me as to share her kitchen. Her cooking was not creative nor daring (and barely Hungarian) but she was appreciated, and that gave her the satisfaction she needed. Long before the language was second-hand to me, she flourished with words of her past, her losses and successes. None of her grandchildren had ever listened and although thousands of wasted words fell upon my ignorant ears, her burden of sixty-four years became increasingly lighter. Mornings were simple, lunch was promptly for the lonely two of us and my afternoons, although full, contained the simplest joys of all.
And the stars. I had been brought to a time in my life when the only place I looked was down. There was little life outside myself and no prison greater than my own failures. A friend directed my eyes again to the sky – the night sky. He told me stories about the stars – mythology. The winter sky held treasures that no store could contain. The air would be so crisp, so clear, I wished it were a drink I could slowly consume and allow to go through every part of my body and remain in my blood stream. The stars became my companions on long walks home at night through all seasons. If I found myself waiting at a bus stop, I would gaze to my favorite star and dream of the land it held. We had randomly chosen a star to bear the name out a book of mythology spoke about. One day, in amazement we read that the star we had chosen was actually the object of our writer’s fantasy. It rode high in the sky, forever tolling and pitching on the night waves. I learned that my world of suffering was so small in the scope of simply one aspect of God’s creation.
The summer nights wrapped me in its balm to warm me as I’d lay in the grass and stare. The shooting stars would grasp at my heart and steal me away as it soared and soared long after I’d leave the earth. Satellites amazed me. Something man-made could blink its way past my home and visit me tomorrow right on time. Stars were the only things I’d allow to wake me from my sleep – they were even more brilliant after a late evening washing of rain. The dark silhouette of clouds would just be departing as the moon once again reigned. Its companions would glimmer and reflect in the puddles of passing rainfall. I was told that nice girls never roamed the streets on any village at night – perhaps not, but a dreaming girl did.