The 17th of August 1993 – Lincolnton, Georgia

(found on the back of this photograph)

Dear Ma,

Bobby and I are having just a fine time here with Uncle Thomas. The cabin is so nice and cozy, even in the sticky August weather we still feel comfortable.

It surely is such a joy to be outside. You ought to get yourself out here before the summer lets out. Being trapped in the city all year long can’t be good for anybody.

My lungs do feel a lot better, and the clean air has done wonders to ease my coughing. But I worry that a return to the smog might welcome back my asthma. Hopefully not.

We are truly having a wonderful time here in the forest. We wake up every morning right at dawn to an opera of birdsong. At first I did just try to sleep through it, but even two pillows wrapped around my head couldn’t keep out the noise. Now though, it is a wonder to me why I ever doubted the natural beauty of such music. The chirping and the singing, the rustles of little squirrels scurrying over the leaves fills my ears and lifts my heart every morning.

I do wish you were out here with us, Ma. I know you had to stay with Harold, and send him my best. I worry about you and him especially, and I hope you’re well.

Bobby is simply having the time of his life. I’ve never seen a boy smile so, all day and all night, even while asleep. He seems to skip everywhere, him with so much energy while I can only just keep up behind him.

He loves the lake. It’s just at the bottom of the hill, a few hundred yards from where the cabin stands. It is such a beautiful sight, especially when the sun shines on a clear day. The water sparkles like finely cut crystal. And the view from the little swimming alcove, of tall mountains hulking on the opposite shore, is just breathtaking.

I managed to snap a picture for you. There’s Bobby, relaxing in the water.

I do not understand how he can do that. Hard as I try, I can’t seem to enjoy anything half as much as him. How can he float so in the water, bobbing and without any care? How can he seem so happy, satisfied, so content? He does it almost without any effort. He hops in and lets the water’s current push him where it wills, and he just floats along, arms and legs splayed out and at the mercy of the tides.

I must confess Ma, for as good as my lungs have gotten, that unease I feel in my lower back remains. I can only sit on the little beach whenever Bobby jumps into the water. I always look up at those mountains, those dark giants on the horizon. They seem so threatening, so menacing. I look over the placid lake and I see those mountains. I think of you, and I think of Harold. I think of my asthma, and I think of returning home.

Bobby doesn’t seem to notice. I do not know how he does it.

Uncle Thomas sends his best wishes. We all hope to hear from you soon.



Photo Credit: Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Submitted for consideration in the 1,000 Words Weekly Writing Challenge



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