Refined by Fire

My father’s shaving mug, the well rounded soft brush, and the sharp razor are still in the medicine cabinet at Mom’s house. Each time I open the mirrored door to check the back of my hair, the same memory catches me. Immediately, I am sitting on the counter next to the sink, a little girl of six or seven, waiting my turn. Daddy soaps his face first, then covers my cheeks with the remaining soft white cream. I ‘shave’ it off my face with an old toothbrush.
Daddy has been gone since 2008. My mother gets around by wheel chair much of the time, so the medicine cabinet up on the wall is not something she uses, or will ever use again. Not having need of the space, it is not on her radar screen. I know it will not be emptied until after her death. That’s okay. I like the sweet reminder of a simpler time for me.
I recently snow-shoed on top of Grand Mesa. The drive up to the area was stellar, ice clinging to the trees, reflecting the sun, looking like giant, shiny ornaments hanging from the aspens. Colorado’s sky is particularly blue when you’re up 10,000 feet, and it makes a gorgeous backdrop. The day was almost too warm once I got going, but having been born and raised in Colorado, I knew enough to be wearing layers. I have to say though, just like when I play ping-pong, I prefer to have someone along. Probably, it is the laughter I miss most when alone, and the sharing. There is no new perspective to be gained when there is only me for feedback.
Is there a coincidence between being set free and finding my writing voice? It did not happen immediately. The voice did not get strong until after I went through sadness, depression, anger, and finally, reached some understanding. My writing has been strengthened by the fire of life, so to speak. Newly recognized in my work, the change is exciting! For those times when I get down, it is another reason to get back up.

About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature as well as mainstream fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's. Her second novel, Rhyaden, a middle grade fantasy released Nov. 2018. Gardening, exploring National Parks, Kayaking, hiking, and snow-shoeing top her list of favorite hobbies.
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