This morning at Panera, my friend, Cori, did something unusual. She looked at me and said..."Page 129. I really love page 129. It's about the stars." I knew what she was talking about.
Thank you, Cori, for reading my books and for even remembering the page number of a portion you loved. Means a lot to me.
The sky was dark now except for the millions of stars that winked, fixed in their galaxies, doing their jobs, moving at the beck and call of the Creator. Isaac longed to be more like those stars. Predictable. Trustworthy. And just so soon one fell headlong to the earth. That would have to be Isaac, the roguish star that wouldn’t stay in its course. Why couldn’t he be more like Jonathan, the rock, or as Henry had been for that matter? The two smooth, near perfect brothers who always did and said the right things. Why and how had his world turned on him? Why a complete reversal in the mainspring of his being?
His mother had taught him that the Apostle Paul, when he was lonely, was comforted by the presence of someone. When he was troubled on every side, when without there were fightings, and within there were fears, God comforted him by sending Titus or Timothy or someone. Someone always came, bringing comfort and receiving comfort. Jennie had been his comfort, his motivating force, and he had been hers. But Isaac had wallowed in his anger, a safe place for him until the string of events began to take place—the dream about his father, his confrontation with his grandfather, the whipping Jonathan gave him, and the talk with Rachel. Now—well, now the anger was passing. Now the menacing claws of Simon Graystone had opened, and Isaac had slipped the surly clutches, hoping the carpetbagger was out of his life forever.
The mild days of Indian summer were passing, the landscape changing. Isaac loved every grapevine, every majestic tree to which they were affixed and the green moss on the north side of each. He loved how the sweet gums, tall and straight, caught the morning sun that painted the landscape crimson and yellow, the seed balls swinging festively on every twig, and how the dew glimmered on the first light, and the rays slashed across the porch of a morning. Soon the green would vanish except for the cedars and the pines and the magnolias. That was not unsettling to Isaac, for it would then be possible for him to see through the canebrake to the creek beyond. The blue skies over Slate Springs would stay the same and the dew would continue to glisten like gold and silver on the dried leaves and pine needles. And if winter allowed an inch of snow to fall, his world would sparkle like slithers of diamonds. Every season had its splendid advantage and from front porch or back or from the myriad panes on every side or even from the dogtrot he would sit and bask in the blessings of each, calling them by name—winter, spring, summer and best of all—autumn.
Jane Bennett Gaddy
Jane Bennett Gaddy