Where Hawk Discovers There’s Always a Next Thing

By the time I’d finished wandering amongst the flowers, most of the blooms had faded. The trees were now covered with fans of miniature leaves colored up in the gentle olive greens of spring. The once brightly lit forest floor was dappled with shade and fuzzy seed pods were swelling where flower petals had just glowed. As I reached the edge of the wood, a stiff breeze loosed upon me a rain of small twigs, each tipped with a cluster of leaves. I pulled in a big breath of sweet, musky air and let it out with a sigh. Spring wildflower season was over and the excitement that had carried me through the woods for weeks with a camera in hand had drained away. My donkey shuffled to a stop, lifted her head, and brayed piteously. I was about to join in when the phone rang.

“Hi, Neil.”

“Hey, you up for a trip to Gettysburg?”

“Gettysburg?” I glanced around one last time at the wood. I could see nothing more to do here—at least for now. “I guess I could be. When are you thinking of going?”

Major General John Gibbon, to whom Neil bears a striking resemblance.

“Well, kind of short notice, but I have a meeting scheduled up there tomorrow afternoon. Thought we could go up early in the day and poke around. Maybe do an overnight.” With my free hand, I busied myself plucking tendrils of oak flowers from my donkey’s mane. “I was thinking you might take some pictures for me,” Neil continued. “Monuments…statues of generals…that kind of thing. I’m going to need photos to illustrate the manual for my leadership course and I’d like you to take them.”

My donkey lunged forward so quickly that I was thrown flat out along the length of her back. As my head bounced on her rump, I clutched my phone to my ear and with all the calm I could muster said, “Sure, sounds like fun.”

“That’s great. Can you be ready for pick-up at 5:30 tomorrow morning? I’d like to beat the traffic. And maybe we can get up there in time to catch that sweet light you’re always talking about.”

“Yep. 5:30 is fine. I’ll be ready with my cheese sandwich and my camera.”

“Perfect. You might want to bring a notebook along, too. There were almost a hundred and sixty-five thousand soldiers at Gettysburg. Each one with a story. Seems like a lot of potential inspiration for a writer, if you ask me…”

If Neil said anything beyond that, I can’t recall what it was. I had put the phone on speaker by that point in the conversation and was busy flinging notebooks and a collection of brightly colored gel pens into an overnight bag. My donkey had found her next destination and it was time for me to write.


A Small Gift for You

I created a sweet PDF of the first 30 pages of Giving Voice to Dawn that you can download for free. It includes two poems, a bunch of illustrations, intros to the main characters, and the complete Parable of Pamela the Donkey—A Story of Life Purpose Stuck at the Bottom of a Hole, so really is a gift and not just a teaser that leaves you completely up in the air. Just click and read. → Click Here to Download Your Free Sample of "Giving Voice to Dawn" (721 downloads)

Linda Gribko is an author, artist, and photographer living in Morgantown, West Virginia. She's known for her wildflower photography and the mandalas that she creates from her nature photos. Her quirky first novel, "Giving Voice to Dawn", was published in November 2016. It's the magical romp of a woman plucked by the Universe from the cubicles of Corporate America and dropped into the crease between "this world and that" where Spirit Animals carry messages, disembodied voices spout wisdom, and you never know who might show up to walk you back home.

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