Excerpt from So Says The River:
Willow stepped out of the stairwell and into the balcony foyer which extended out into an open air garden, one of her favorite places to relax and work. She stepped on the pad that opened the large glass door to the floor’s hallway.
The welcoming nature of the family hallway— with lights and plants and art throughout— brought a calm to her exhaustion.
Special grow lights lined the walls and small planters of flowering herbs seemed to sparkle beneath each light. Her family had kept up the traditions of the first family by keeping all parts of their section as filled with plants and helpful areas as a community would need.
The first door on the left was wide open— a salon that opened onto the meadow below, with an expansive view of the mountain side of the apartment. Someone played a piano softly, several people chatted in clusters of couches, and a group played cards, and another group played a board game together. In the far corner, a teacher led an interactive lesson and planting session with some younger kids who would be responsible for the planter upkeep.
Willow paused and leaned against the door jam, noting the openness of the white walls reflecting the sunset, holding in its warmth, but cooled by the many plants, and of course the ventilation system so carefully designed. Most of the room was well lit, but the inner corners could be darkened for quiet time. She noted several readers, a gardner cleaning out some pots, a few in meditation, and one younger person who seemed to be counting wall tiles.
“Interesting,” Willow thought.
Etchings and paintings in the large columns of support throughout the salon told ancient stories, held family crests, and added new stories. Many of the family signed up to add memories, stories, events, poetry, art. You could spend days learning from them— and many young students did in their learning pods.
The youngster noticed Willow and waved. She did not recognize him. “Oh— he’s not that young,” she blushed and looked away, pushing herself from the door jam and hurrying her step towards the next door, her home.
She noted how lovely the planters looked on the wall and beside each door. She loved that the plant beside her door was a willow, with a dragonfly on its planter.
Hummingbirds and chickadees danced along the lintel, vibrant in their colors. On the arched plank door, three wavy lines seemed to float as peaceful clouds floating pleasantly in the sky. Below that, the Ananta family crest: an S shape, with spirals on each end. The first outward curves above and below displayed three black loops, sign of the dragon. In the middle, the S crossed above the sun. In each the top spiral, blue for air and water, and in the bottom spiral, green for earth.
On each wooden post bounding the doorway, a single droplet of water, floating sideways topped the same three wavy cloud icon. Below those hummingbird and chickadee welcomed visitors along with dragonfly. The pleasant traditional leaves of maple, sycamore, aspen, willow, and birch fell next, a blessing tying earth and sky together. Next, the three family crests— each it’s own version of a story and belief in its own arrangement of threes. And at the top and bottom, left blank, a space for the unknown to be known, ready to welcome the new to join with the old.
In the corners below the lintel, the tri-spiral crest blesses the home with earth, sky, and air surrounding the center sun bounded by a triangle connecting the spirals: shine, share, serve.
Stepped on the autumn colored welcome mat with its universe of starts on a yellow sun and the leaves tying earth and sky together again.
Each family door in the complex held traditional symbols of family stories and connections, reminders of the hope the community held in its beginnings.
The door handle was not needed; as soon as she stepped forward with both feet on the rug, the door knew it was her, opened, and lit her way into her home.
Day 238 of Covid Stay At Home
Day 617 of daily blogging
NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month — Day 6 with 10,732 words of 50,000 over the month of November.
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker