Lynda McKinney Lambert
Good afternoon to all
As I was perusing my totally talented clients’ work I came across an article I honestly believed I’d already shared.
As I continued to look it became very apparent to me that I had somehow missed sharing this most exquisite treasure with you.
I hope you will enjoy reading this as much as did I.
The detail to description with which Lynda shares her story with us is such that I felt I was right there with her.
It is most beautifully written and it is with great joy I share it with you.
If I reblogged this I do not remember.
Even if so it is so beautiful I cannot imagine anyone having any problem reading it again.
Please keep reading once the offering is through to find out how you can enjoy all Lynda’s work.
August days signify the end of summer, when nights become cooler and I begin to forget the predictable, unrelenting, steamy days and nights of July. Temperature readings by mid–August drop down into the 50s. I open the windows and feel the cool breeze move through the familiar old house. July’s humidity and stuffiness are swept away, and I sense the shift of a quickly approaching new season that is beginning to stir my senses. There is something in the air that I feel by mid–August. Is it a kind of nervousness and anticipation of…what? I cannot really say.
Last night, I lay in my bed, listening to the soothing insect sounds drifting upwards to my open window. The unseen creatures sounded like musicians tuning their instruments to play night songs. The sounds blended into a nocturnal symphony, a cacophony of a summer serenade.
Our century–old home is on a ridge overlooking a winding creek that meanders for fifty miles in western Pennsylvania. People from this area call it “the Connie.” Its actual name is Connoquenessing Creek. For many of the residents of this village, our ancestors date back to the 1700s. That is when the early settlers were going back to Germany to recruit artisans to come to America and settle here. People who had skills that were needed by the colonies were recruited for about 100 years. Many of them married Indians who were already living in this area.
In the summer time, the Connie comes alive with the voices and sounds of the local “crick culture.” That’s what we call it here. Kayaking begins in earnest in late winter, as soon as the ice begins to dissipate. Hearty enthusiasts will continue to ride the rapids through the summer days and into the fall season. The Connie’s whitewater rapids provide the perfect setting for a swift course for kayakers to perfect their skills.
On August nights I can hear people laughing from down below the ridge. Summer nights, some people arrive here at the crick in the late evening, in the twilight, just before it gets dark. They leave their cars and trucks in a clearing beside the road, just under the old trees. Generations of local people come to spend the night fishing. I often watch as they pull out their gear. They bring coolers and jugs, flashlights, buckets of worms, fishing poles, nets, and blankets. Some of them wear baseball caps or slouchy fishing hats. One by one, they scramble down the steep, rocky path that leads to the deep water below. When they get to the bottom of the hill, they walk out onto the big, flat rock where they spend the night. I hear them talking and laughing; their voices blend with the insect concert.
In childhood memories, my father and I are in the backyard behind our home in the foothills. I still live in the valley between the steep hills. Like most of the steelworkers in our village, my father loved to go fishing in the Connie. In the darkness of an August night, I helped him find earthworms. His steelworker’s helmet had a strange yellow light on the front of it. I smelled the acrid smoke, heard it sizzle and sputter as we bent over the dark ground. We poured mustard water down into the little tunnels where the earthworms lived. In just a few seconds, a worm came to the surface seeking fresh air, and we grabbed that worm, then sloshed it around quickly in a bowl of water to wash off the mustard water. Finally, we put the captured worm into Dad’s metal pail with the holes in the sides. He had put dirt into the pail before we went searching for the worms. We turned over rocks and found creepy creatures hiding under them. Dad called them hellgrammites, and they made me shiver when I looked at them.
My favorite sight in August is the Queen Anne’s lace mingled with the periwinkle blue flowers of chicory. The two wildflowers grow together along all the roads in early August. I take my camera outside so I can capture the beauty of these disorderly flowers. I imagine these fields of uncultivated flowers long after they disappear in mid–September. A friend once told me, “When you see the chicory blooming, you know winter is not far away.”
Oh, I should let you know: Queen Anne’s lace is my favorite wildflower because of the delicate, tiny flowers clustered on thin, celadon-green stems. The flowers seem to float in space and ride the soft wafts of the August breeze. Fragile, lacy blossoms dance in the fragrant afternoon air.
The white blossoms of Queen Anne’s lace contrast with the sturdier chicory flowers. Chicory resembles a daisy, with petals branching outward from a round, dark center. Each chicory bloom has little oval petals that come to a tip that looks like someone snipped it off flat with zigzag pinking shears. The brilliant blue color of the chicory seems to pop out from among the white Queen Anne’s lace in full bloom side by side with chicory. When I see the chicory begin to bloom, I know that the season will soon be changing to autumn.
And it always seems that it won’t be long before I’ll be walking through the colored leaves on my daily walks through the woods along the Connie. My thoughts drift to the stories my father told me about his Indian grandmother. I stop and look around through the woods and down to the whitewater creek. Some days, my spirit calls out to her as I look around in the world that she lived in, too. Often, I feel like I am walking over layers and generations of my family members. I ask myself, “Am I an overlay from past generations of people who lived in this place?” I realize their presence because they seem to surround me. I can feel them. I ask my grandmother, “Did your feet walk on this path, too?”
More about Lynda and her fabulous work.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems
© 2017 by Lynda McKinney Lambert
Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world. She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.
All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.
Available in e-book ($3.99) and print ($14.95) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other sellers. Full details, free 20% text preview, and buying links: http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/
Edited by David and Leonore H. Dvorkin of DLD Books: http://www.dldbooks.com/
Cover layout by David Dvorkin / Cover photo and back cover text by the author