Tag Archives: love

Smuggler’s Cove . . . Again

 

Anita sat back; she was tired but she still smiled as she remembered.  Today was an anniversary of sorts. Thirty-one years ago today she was reborn.   She remembered the woman she had been, fondly.  Actually, if she had not been the woman she was then, she would not be the woman she was today.

With a quiet chuckle Anita stood up and approached the bed where the object of her remembrances lay sleeping.  She laid a gentle hand on his brow and he stirred for just a moment.  But his breathing was deep, he would not wake for some time yet.  So she sat back down and once again remembered.

*******************

‘John cupped her face in his hand, her beautiful face.  She wore no make-up; she didn’t need any.  There was no artifice to her.  Everything she felt showed on her face.  Right now, it showed her dismay at alarming people and something else.  John wondered what she was thinking, feeling. He took her elbow and helped her to stand.’

It was at that moment that the woman, who used to be known as Anna, knew her destiny.  This man was her future.  She once swore that she would never allow another man to get too close to her heart.  But John had sneaked in under her radar.  And she was glad.  John too was having an epiphany.  As he helped her to stand, he could feel the weight of her heart in his hands.  John knew that his future rested with this woman.

Anita sighed and shook her head.  It had all happened so quickly.  Without a word the two had gripped hands and decided to leave together. The woman who was Anna had never considered herself spontaneous.  But here in the blink of an eye she was running away from a life that she had, with a man that she barely knew.  But her heart was full and her conscience was clear.  John too was leaving behind nothing that meant anything to him.  He was not running away from life, he was running to it and taking with him all that had meaning.

*******************

All those years ago John had already been planning his escape.  He loved the park, he really did, but he could never escape who he really was. Jonathan Edward Bellamy III was a curse, an albatross that John wore around his neck.  So to that end, John had been preparing for his escape for many months.  Money had been secreted away, a temporary hideaway had been prepared, and all that was still needed was a push.  Anna provided the final reason.  So, the two left the park quietly in a canoe that John kept in Smugglers Cove.

******************

Anita’s eyes flew open; she had heard a noise from the bed.

“John? John?”  The concern in her voice was evident, but there was no response from the object of her concern.  She felt his brow and it was cool, not fevered as it had been for several days.  Anita was sure the danger had now passed.  She wanted to weep as a release for her pent-up fears.  She had been so afraid she was going to lose him: this man she had loved for thirty-one years.

***************

“Woman, you are starting to annoy me!”  The voice was gruff but the eyes still twinkled with love and with humour.

“The Doctor said you were to take it . . . “

“The Doctor can take his advice and . . .”

“John! Don’t you dare finish that sentence!”

On one side of the room was a slight, red haired lady with her hands firmly planted on her hips and a scowl on her face.  On the other side of the room was a tall, pale man who was still recovering from a recent illness.  The battle of wills was about to be waged and there was little doubt as to the victor.

“Okay, okay, you win!  I promise to avoid marathons and mountain climbing for at least a month.  Just remove the scowl from that beautiful face, please?”

“John. . .”  Anita spoke lowly and crossed the room to put her arms around her patient. “I was so very afraid; I can’t lose you.”

John raised his arms and encircled his beloved. “You will never lose me.”

*************

Later that night Anita once again thought through all the years they had been together.

It hadn’t always been easy but the one thing they never lost sight of was each other.  That first night in the canoe had been amusing.  They were acting like high school students, running away.  It was a bit tricky canoeing with a cane and she would not give up her laptop computer, but they managed.  They only had to go a few miles by canoe and in some ways, it was quite exciting. Well, except for the almost drowning incident.  And of course, they had met Samson.  He was her constant companion for many years.

She never regretted what she had done.  She did always wonder what everyone thought about the two of them.  They slept for the first night in an old rundown cottage that someone had left unlocked.  Or perhaps John was just good at breaking and entering, she didn’t ask.  It had taken them almost a week of traveling to finally reach their hideaway.  John had planned well.  There was a vehicle, there was food, and there was a place to sleep. Of course, he had only planned on one person on the run not two, but they made do.

Perhaps the first month was the most difficult.  They had to discover each other and had to come to terms with the lives they had left behind. Anita felt that she had not left anything important behind but she thought John had.  After all he came from a family with money and position, how you give that up?  But John thought about it differently.  He hated who he had been and by definition the people who had forced him to be that person.  But he had prepared well.  They chose new identities and set about planning their life together.  But there was always one thing in the back in Anita’s mind: returning to Smugglers Cove.

The money John had saved only lasted a few months but both were prepared to work to support their new lives. Perhaps it was nostalgia, perhaps it was guilt but Anita chose to write children’s stories that were quite successful.  John once again took a position in an out of the way park.  They had what they needed in life and they had each other.  It was a good life.

*******************

‘He saw clearly in the sand the imprint of a man’s feet and right beside them a smaller pair: a woman’s.  He looked out into darkness, they were here . . . again.’

Smugglers’ Cove . . .Between

 

The surface of the river was still, almost glass like.  Looking deep you could see the current running swiftly down stream. Hungry birds circled overhead, looking for a meal.  A small fish leapt above the safety of the river narrowly missing becoming lunch. For a moment the world was quiet.

And then chaos. . . .

“John!  Help!  I can’t . . .” For only a few seconds a woman’s head broke the surface before she was dragged back down into the darkness.  The unforgiving depths do not like to give back.

“Oh, my God!  I’m coming! Please God don’t let her drown!  Anna!”

Mere seconds behind the struggling woman was a man in a canoe.  The terror on his face spoke volumes.  More time went by as he searched for any sign of this woman that had enchanted his heart, his soul.  He had to find her!

“Anna! Anna!”  He shouted loudly.

“ Please God, save her.”  He whispered to the universe.  “Please!”

Two gentle souls had found each other in an out-of-way park and without meaning to, had fallen in love.  John could not believe they would be separated so soon after finding each other.  He felt the tears at the back of his eyes welling.  His shoulders ached from the desperate paddling, his eyes searching for his heart.

“Please, plea . . .  Anna!”

He spied her flowing red hair glistening in the morning light.  The only movement was with the water’s drift trying to tug it free from a branch.

Another foot and he could see a shoulder.  It was deathly pale.

“Please . . .”

When the canoe was within reach John jumped out next to the body of his beloved.  Immediately he felt the water dragging at his clothes, determined to pull him down.  The canoe, caught by another branch, floated nearby.  John’s hands trembled, unsure, desperate to know.

“Anna…”  He barely breathed . . .

As he turned her body over an eyelid flickered.  She was alive!

With that almost imperceptible movement John reacted.  His training took over his actions. He checked her pulse: strong.  Breathing: shallow but steady.  Pupils: reactive. Small contusion on forehead.  She was safe to move.  She needed to be warm and monitored. He needed to check for other possible injuries.

The next few minutes became a blur.  John was able to disentangle Anna and get her to shore.  It may only have been a few feet but it felt like miles.  He made sure she was safe and returned for the canoe.  Those supplies could make the difference between living and dying.

When John and Anna made the decision to run away they left behind their lives as well as their cell phones.  They were on their own now.

It took a little time but John was able to make a fire, make Anna comfortable and put water on to boil.  He cleaned her wounds.  They were minor and should pose no future problems.  Her breathing was stronger but still she slept.  John agonized over whether to leave her to find help or to stay.  A little tea should help.  While he busied himself with the mundane tasks of finding the tea and cups he was able to calm down.  They would survive this.  She would survive this.

His head was down, diligently measuring tea leaves into a strainer when he heard a sound. He quickly looked to Anna, still she slumbered.  He raised his eyes to the forest a few meters away.  His heart stopped.  There, just beside a very full tree was the largest wolf he had ever seen. John had seen hundreds in his years in the Parks Services but never one this close and this . . .alive. He was afraid to breath!  And then it moved.

Wolves have a reputation as true killers, vicious animals that maul the unwary for fun.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Wolves are intelligent pack animals who care deeply for their young and avoid people as much as possible.  And yet here was a magnificent specimen silently staring at . . .Anna?  Normally an adversary keeps his eyes on an opponent but that didn’t seem to be the case here.  Why? Before John had finished his thought the wolf took a step forward and then another. Then it did the strangest thing:  it sat. With its head cocked to one side and its tongue hanging out it look just like a family pet.

John sat back on his heals.  The movement didn’t disturb the wolf at all.  It’s gaze never left Anna.  It didn’t seem to be aggressive, more . . . supportive?  Was John dreaming? After what seemed to be hours the wolf slowly returned to the forest.  At that moment the water started boiling furiously. John was reminded of his duties and returned to them.

The hours did pass. John tried to stay awake to tend to the fire and to worry about the wolf but the inevitable did happen. The stress, fear and fatigue took hold and John slept.

He was dreaming.  He felt cool water on his face, he was drowning! With a yell he force his way up, clawing for the surface!

“John!”

With blinking eyes the man in question came awake. He was confused.  He quickly looked to where Anna lay and she was gone!

“Anna?”

“I’m right here John, I’m fine. Look someone’s dog has come for a visit.”

Someone’s dog?  John came awake in a hurry with that comment.  He looked towards the sound of his beloved’s voice and saw her with the huge wolf gently accepting her ministrations. She was petting him and tugging at his ears and he seemed to like it!

“Anna, Anna . . that’s a wolf!  A wild animal!  You have to get away from him!”

Anna didn’t move except to give her newfound friend a hug.

“I had such awful dreams and then I felt this warmth embrace me.  I felt such love. Then I felt a wet tongue on my face and it was Samson.  He sat by me while you slept. I think he was keeping an eye on us both.”

“You named a wild animal Samson?”

John started to laugh.  It was so abrupt that both Anna and Samson were startled. Then they both joined in.  Or, at least one did, the other gave the impression he was enjoying the process.

When the laughter died down the release was apparent. Then both John and Anna started to speak at the same time …

“I’m sorry!”  “I’m sorry!”

“It was an accident.  We’re both ok and we seemed to have gained a companion.”

Anna smiled at their new friend who promptly rolled on his back and presented his stomach for a rub.

John grinned at the two of them. A wild animal and a beautiful writer. What could be more incongruous and more appropriate? Perhaps Anna would write about a tame wolf named Samson in their new life.  He would find an out-of-the-way park in which to work and Anna would write stories for children. All would be well. They had each other.

The end

 

 

 

Smuggler’s Cove

I’m not quite prepared for my weekly post so I thought I would share something from a few years ago.  This started out as a single story but grew into three due to very strong opposition. Seniors can be quite scary when they want something!  So I complied.  This is the first of the three. I will post the second and third on Monday and Tuesday.  I’ll be back to regular viewing on Wednesday.

Pamela

Jonathan Edward Bellamy III.  A name destined to sit in the Supreme Court after a spotless career as a criminal lawyer, or perhaps the head of a multi-national banking conglomerate with a profit margin in the tens of millions.  Well perhaps Jonathan might have gone that route but not John.  John was sitting in a ten-year-old truck wondering if his rent cheque was going to bounce, and that truck was sitting on a mountain pass that overlooked a pristine national park which that Supreme Court judge would kill to see.  John figured he was the wealthier of the two.

Being born into a wealthy and prominent family brought with it a great many obligations that John had always balked at.  People who knew he came from money were either anxious to be his new best friend or hated him for his presumed privileges.  It had been hard trying to fit into that world. John didn’t like the phoney debutants or their mothers trying to make ‘good’ matches for them.  He just didn’t belong to that world. He belonged here, where the air was fresh, the people were real and where one worried about rent cheques.  When John walked away from the privileged life he also walked away from his wealth.  That was fine with him. Money should be earned not inherited.

Today John was thinking about that rent cheque but he was also thinking about the tourists.  Today was the first day of summer vacation and it had always been a trial in the park.  High School kids brought booze, which was banned, and College kids brought drugs, which were worse. Parents brought small children and expected the Rangers and Park Attendants to be babysitters.   Couples brought their pets and were indignant when they were turned away.  They didn’t seem to understand that this was a Wild Lands Park with wild animals, animals that might mistake ‘Spot’ for lunch.  It had happened.  Not often fortunately.  It really was amazing just how dumb some people could be.

It was almost time.  The Park opened at 10 am and it was almost that now.  John turned his ignition on and started for the main gates.  It wasn’t all bad; there were a lot of good, decent people who genuinely wanted to learn about the bears, the deer, and the other inhabitants of the forest.  They were the ones that made everything worthwhile.

As John approached the main gates, he could see the people waiting patiently for the gates to open.  Not everyone was waiting patiently of course: he could see a couple of cars of what appeared to be college students. We had better flag that group. Maybe they will turn out to be biology students with a real love for the forest and it’s inhabitants, and maybe not.  John heaved a quiet sigh; it could be a long summer. 

He watched the cars entering the park. Movement near the lodge caught his eye.  Red.  Specifically: red hair, long silky, red hair.  It belonged to a single woman who had booked a month at the lodge that was adjacent to the park.  She was quite a looker Miss Anna Wilson. Now there was an interesting story.  Young, attractive, women did not spend a month at an out of the way park alone.  She didn’t seem to be meeting anyone and she wandered the forest trails quite often. Always alone.   She used a cane and carried a laptop computer. Why?  Jessica at the lodge said she was a very nice, quiet woman. She seemed sad some how.  What was she running from? She had been here a week and John had spoken to her often, going out of his way to do so.  She was intelligent, but not forthcoming about her past.  Everyone was entitled to their privacy.  Except John was curious.

* * * * * * * * *

It had been a very long week.  There was the two-year-old who had burrowed underneath the showers rather successfully.  That took a couple of hours and several staff members to bring to a satisfactory conclusion.  Mom wanted to go home NOW.  Then there was the diamond necklace that went missing.  Why anyone would bring an expensive bauble to a park went beyond dumb.  It was located in the husband’s jacket pocket.  He was playing a trick on his wife. As for those college students, they really were here to study the local flora and fauna.  Unfortunately, they were also studying the effects of some of their own personal flora, which was definitely illegal. They agreed to leave quietly, without the illegal plants.  Another one for the burn pile.

********************

John stood at the top of the trail and looked down.  It was steep, an awkward climb even for him.  There was no way a woman with a cane could manoeuvre down to the cove.  It was one of John’s favourite spots.  Here, alone, he could think without any interruptions from tourists.  He scanned the small beach and started to turn away.  Out of the corner of his eye he caught a shape that did not belong.  It was a woman. A woman with red hair and she wasn’t moving.  Her hair was splayed out behind her as if she had fallen backwards. John started to run.  It took him a full minute to reach her but she didn’t move.  He looked for signs of an injury and softly called her name once, twice, three times.  She stirred; eyes sleepy. She stretched like a cat.  John sat back on his heels and pulled out his cell phone.

“Central, this is John.  The package has been located and verified.  All is well.  Out.”

Anna sat up, confused.  “What are you doing here?”

“Looking for you.” John snapped.  He was angry.  This blasted woman had the unmitigated gall to make him fall in love with her, to disappear for a full day and then not even have the decency to be injured or, or, whatever.  He had been worried sick and she was fine.

The object of his silent tirade was completely unaware of the effect she was having on him or the situation away from her little cove.  For that is how she thought of this idyllic spot, as hers.

“John, did you know about this spot? It’s wonderful!  It is quiet and serene. I have been able to write here so easily; it is almost as if . . .. John? What’s wrong?”

Anna had finally noticed the look on John’s face.  The anger was apparent, and something more, concern?

“Anna you have been gone for almost 7 hours. Jessica is worried sick.   Rangers have been out looking for you ever since you failed to show up at the lodge for lunch.  And how the hell did you get down here anyway?”  As he spoke John’s voice grew in volume until he was almost shouting and his teeth were clenched.

Anna smiled.  She tried to hide her grin but failed miserably.  Of course, this made John even angrier. She stopped listening to his lecture on the dangers of the Park and instead watched his face.  It was a good face, clean-shaven with a slight nick under his jaw line.  He was probably distracted this morning, thinking about the latest batch of tourists.  He was always concerned that each individual reaps the most from their stay at the campgrounds.  He wanted everyone to love the park as he did, just as she had come to do.  Anna had come to the park to escape her life.  She didn’t want to end her life she just didn’t want to live it any more. Yes, John had a good face, strong, his eyes were brown, a deep inviting brown. And his body, well….  Yes, he was definitely nice to look at and his voice, well he could read a phone book out loud and still enthral a crowd.  At least a crowd of one.  Anna stopped smiling.  Was she falling in love with this paragon of manhood?  She could not allow that.  That was a dangerous trail she would never venture down again.

John noticed the change in Anna’s face.  Had he been too hard on her?  Dammit he worried about her!

“Anna?”

“I.. . I’m sorry I worried you, I lost track of time.” Her eyes were downcast, her voice cracked slightly.

John cupped her face in his hand, her beautiful face.  She wore no make-up; she didn’t need any.  There was no artifice to her.  Everything she felt showed on her face.  Right now it showed her dismay at alarming people and something else.  John wondered what she was thinking, feeling. He took her elbow and helped her to stand.

Anna looked up the path.  “It wasn’t so hard coming down, really, just slow.  But it was definitely worth the effort.”

John looked at this woman that he had come to care for.  They were both lonely people looking to escape their lives.  Perhaps they were both here on this spot for a reason.

*********************

Coach Adamson wondered if he was doing the right thing bringing these boys to this park for the weekend.  They didn’t know what had happened here, on this spot, thirty-eight years ago.  Actually no one really knew what happened.  Two people were gone. What they had found all those years ago was an abandoned truck and a sweater that had belonged to a park visitor.  His father’s little sister.  Had two lonely people run away together or had an accident claimed their lives? Coach looked out at the river, now shrouded in darkness.  He had been warned that the currents near the centre of the river could be deadly.  Had they been thirty-eight years ago?

“Hey Coach, does that Ranger want us to put out the fire?”

The Coach turned back to the bonfire and his charges, “What Ranger?”

“The Ranger you were just talking to with that hot chick.  Wow I guess there are perks to working in an out of the way Park like this!  The boys laughed and turned back to their fire and their questionable jokes.

The Coach turned back to look at the water’s edge.  He saw clearly in the sand the imprint of a man’s feet and right beside them a smaller pair: a woman’s.  He looked out into darkness, they were here . . . again.

Together we’ll talk.

The Lord is my shepherd

I shall not desire

But I do I’m afraid

I like to acquire.

Forgive me dear Lord

I’m not always good

I don’t always pray

And I know that I should.

The valley is dark

And the water is cold

Sometimes it is hard

To do as I’m told.

My cup runneth over

The wine is quite nice

Perhaps a Bordeaux

I wonder the price?

Forgive me my Lord

If I don’t measure up

I want to do better

To drink from your cup.

My child I can see you

I know just who you are

Your heart it is full

You’ll never stray far.

Your journey is mine

And together we’ll walk

And one other thing

Together we’ll talk.

Father Dearest

This is something a little different. It is an excerpt of something I wrote for my father’s 75th Birthday. I hope you enjoy it.

This book is dedicated to my father. He was a man who guided us and tolerated us, a man who was our dad, our mentor and our friend. A man who is not so bad for an old guy!

Thanks dad, we love you.

Lectures my father gave and don’t tell your mother!

My father always has been and always will be a man of honour, integrity and stature. He is also human. He is a dad and subject to all the idiosyncrasies of that idyllic state. In simplest terms, he ain’t perfect. Of course growing up I just assumed he was perfect. Aren’t all fathers? We used to tease my father about his lectures. You know all the usual ones that fathers give their children – drive from point A to point B, no ‘parking’, look both ways before you date. As his children we would roll our eyes and say “Lecture 37” or “Lecture 210”. And we would all laugh. But we didn’t disobey. Or, at least not openly. Oops, I don’t think my father knew that bit. Father laid down the law in our family. Of course, laws were meant to be broken, or at least bent a little. I read that somewhere.

My father may be a distinguished looking man but appearances can be deceiving. Take the yearly trial of showing a beautiful but willful dog how to use the dog door. My father had installed a ‘dog door’ in the screen door off the kitchen to make it easier for Samantha (a brindle boxer) to come in and out at her leisure. In theory, as in practice, it was a wonderful idea. Of course, it was not used in the wintertime. So every spring Samantha was once again offered the opportunity to use her door. Here comes the good part. I don’t know if she really did have a fear about using the door for the first time or she just enjoyed the specter of my very distinguished father on his hands and knees crawling through that door, several times. I must admit my mother and I always made sure we were nearby. I wonder why I never took a picture?

Ask and the answer shall be…….

Children with curious minds ask questions. My parents never tried to dissuade or put off our questions and they always tried to tell the truth. The truth can sometimes be a bit bewildering to a ten year old. Like the time I asked my father why the sky was blue. He told me. Really. Scientifically. Reflection and refraction. I nodded my head and tried to look wise. I was ten years old! I wasn’t mature enough to know what wise was! Fifteen years later I understood what he meant when I took a lighting course at university that explained light reflection and refraction.

When mom is away dad will play

Then there is the time I came home to find my father painting the two story stair well in their house using a short ladder, a rope and a very old, very shaky side table. Of course he was tied to the second story banister if anything went wrong! When I pointed out that he would have a fit if I attempted such acrobatics he smiled his tolerant smile and said that he was the father and that made it different. I was also vehemently instructed not to tell my mother!

Or the time he fell off a ladder in the back yard. I wasn’t a witness, the neighbours were. Mom was out of town and I called to check up on my father. I knew something was wrong. When I inquired, he laughed. He did say it was a bit of a problem getting out of the middle of a bush. He was sore and a little bruised, but I was not allowed to tell my mother! Aaaaahhhhh!

My father is a man of the nineties. The eighteen nineties!

He just recently learned how to actually open the dishwasher. He knew where it was, he just wasn’t too sure what exactly it did. He really is becoming quite capable. He can vacuum and do the laundry. He can also cook bacon and eggs, and beans (from a can. Good on toast?). Dad retired and donned jeans (only in the backyard of course). We are still working on the t-shirt, but he is perhaps still a little young for that. My sister is trying to wean him from the white socks and brown shoes. A child’s work is never done.

Drive/Don’t Drive

Driving with my father is interesting. Actually it is an experience. My father is a very good driver, he’s been at it for more than a few decades. Well, we all learned early on that it is a better world when one is a passenger in my Dad’s car, not the driver. There was a time when my dear sweet father requested that I drive home from their boat. My parents and I had just spent a wonder weekend at the marina. Great weather, good food, good company. Unfortunately perhaps it had been too good. Dad wasn’t feeling well and he asked if I would mind driving home. He did look a little peaked. At first I said no, but I did relent with one proviso, he would lie down in the back of the car and not raise his head above the bottom of the back windows. I figured this way he would not be the proverbial back seat driver. After all, it was only an hour drive. Boy, did I ever underestimate the power of a father’s abilities. It started out okay. Before we had driven a few miles my father started. “What lane are you in?” “How fast are you going?” “Are you checking your rear view mirror?”. Ah Dad. I eventually told him that either he was quiet or I would pull off the road and he could drive, sick or not. It was at that point I heard my dear sweet father chuckling. The rat! He was needling me on purpose! He is just too smart for my own good.

 

 

These are just a few of the wonderful memories I have of a man who helped to make me who I am today. I think he did a good job!

James Edmund Marius Read

August 24, 1925 – January 3, 2007

Wrinkles

 

A wrinkle free world

Unfettered by hate

Smoothed by the love

That people create

 

A world where the person

That stands next to you

Is the one you call friend

No matter the view

 

Our hearts are the measure

That everyone takes

And no one remembers

Those silly mistakes

 

Brothers and sisters

Is what we become

Our bond is our family

Our rule of thumb

 

Perhaps it’s a dream

That I had late one night

But I’d like to think

That I could be right

Stimulating the Senses

Cologne on the neck

Of the man you adore.

Perfume on the woman

You leave wanting more.

 

Rain on the grass

Just after a storm.

Brilliant new flowers,

The air silky and warm.

 

The breath on your cheeks

From a baby’s wee cough.

A delicate moment

Where nothing is off.

 

The sight of a sunrise

Just kissing the sky.

A snow covered lake

The air crisp, cold and dry.

 

The senses were meant

To be stirred and caressed,

A stimulating moment

With which you are blessed.