sitting here going over the scene again and again - this
is something I have done so often over the years. A
great number of years in fact - I can still feel the
velvet darkness of a steamy summer night ~ still see the
diamond studded sky and feel a gentle breeze blowing as
I sit and ponder. It felt that time stood still in the
beauty of the night, but it didn't. It felt that this
moment would last forever, but it didn't. Things changed
and time moved on like the gentle ticking of a clock.
The air was warm and perfume filled and as each second
turned to minutes and the minutes turned to hours and
still I sat reflecting on the times of long ago and far
The time slipped gently by and suddenly it was a new day
after the Town Hall Clock had struck midnight - how I
love the velvet cloak of night and the damp in the air!
I remember that night and as I pour another drink I feel
a little sleepy, knowing I should go to bed and rest,
but also knowing that sleep will not be my companion.
The memories of that night are etched in my heart
The days had been so busy and I had arranged to visit
him the next day but that wasn't to be. I had worked
long hours and had settled into bed and drifted off to
sleep when the shrill noise of the telephone woke me to
a world of reality and pain. Everyone knows that a phone
call at that hour of the night is not good news and this
was news I had dreaded and yet knew that I would have to
face. He had been a little out of sorts and our times
together had been different. By different I mean that
there was an honesty, a trust and a sharing of very
This man - My Father and I shared so many things - a
love of poetry, debating and discussing and they were
the things we did. He seemed to have lost interest in
those things and I thought it would soon pass. I was
wrong. He knew that his time was limited here and he
must have felt reflective and also felt the need to be
honest and leave politics alone.
When I answered the phone - the voice I heard and the
words that were spoken just confirmed what I already
knew that time would be forever changed and that life
would be different for me, every midnight would be a
reminder that he was no longer here. He was a sailor and
loved the sea and on a summer night he lifted the anchor
chain and sailed for the distant shore. I will always
remember that my life would never be the same.
So as I sit and reflect on the passing of the hours,
days, months and years I remember that life is so
fragile and that we all should be sure to say the things
we have in our hearts. I recall that life is transient
and the watch we wear each day can serve as a reminder
of the fact that all we have is now.
I am contemplative as I think of his last words to me -
"Drive carefully Girlie - ring me when you are home and
The velvet sky wraps itself around me and I recall that
this was all long ago and far away.
© Linda J. Vaughan