Word Prompt: Tenacity | Story Prompt: from the book “From The Ashes” by Jesse Thistle

Write It Out: Instruction Video – coming soon!

“I dialled my mom’s number one more time and tried to steady my nerves. Ring — it was picked up straightaway this time.

A shaky, small voice answered, “Hello.” It sounded like an old lady, not the mom I remembered from the snowy mountains.

“Mom…” was all I could muster before losing my breath. I tried to say more but couldn’t.

“Jesse? Is that you?”

I’m not sure if I answered her, but we both began crying. Not sobs, more like sweet sucks of air, the silence between us saying more than any words. Finally, she told me that she’d been searching for me for ten years, since just after she saw me in Vancouver at Josh’s wedding. In shelters, in the jail system, at places I’d just lived for a spell, in mental health facilities, in detoxes all over Ontario, and at Jerry’s.

“You were like a phantom,” she said. “I almost caught up to you a couple times, but always just missed you. I’m sorry life has been this way for you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”

I’d forgiven her before the words even left her lips.

The rest of our conversation melted into a drizzle of emotions that fogged my heart in the nicest way. Like a silent summer rain that lightly quenches the prairie after a long drought, or the cloud of droplets that kicks up at the bottom of a waterfall, delicately misting your face. Refreshing and warm, like I’d rediscovered some fragment of home, some lost piece of myself.

It filled me up.”

***

The wind is really blowing where I am today, gusts up to 80 km/h according to the weather reports. Watching the tarp we have roped over a metal pipe structure (our temporary garage), as it flaps and billows in the gusting wind, I’m reminded of a story.

The sun and the wind were discussing who was stronger. The wind boasted that they were much stronger – and told the sun to watch as they tried to blow the coat from a man out for a walk. But the harder the wind blew, the more the man pulled his coat around himself. Then when it was the sun’s turn to try, the sun shone their rays gently down and the man slowly warmed, eventually removing his jacket.

Our tarp may hold on for the remainder of the winter – as long as we have the tenacity to keep going outside to keep the ropes secured.

Thoughts? Feel free to share them here.

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