I wrote The Yoga Bowl a few years ago, early 2015, as part of a group author contribution of short stories for a charity compilation edition, You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology.
Below my short story are sections with further information. 😊
The Yoga Bowl
© 2015 Felipe Adan Lerma
The long anticipated predicted break in the rain began before sunrise.
Rosetta’s two youngest grandsons arrived shortly after, and were already antsy.
Zilker, younger than Buzz by a year, and less shy around his grandmother, unsurprisingly spoke first.
“Grandma,” he said, gently tugging at her sleeve, “how soon can we go outside?”
He glanced out the big picture window and let his eyes glaze over the uncharacteristically lush Central Texas landscape of deep green grass and flowers so fragrantly abloom, the bees must have thought they’d died and buzzed to the big beehive in the sky.
“Yeah, Grandma,” chimed in Buzz, munching on a forbidden chocolate chip cookie only his grandmother had the power to let him have.
Rosetta smiled her easy smile she unknowingly saved for her grandchildren.
It was easy enough to do, seeing the two young boys, almost tweens, both masked in life’s innocence, each mirroring her own diamond-lit eyes.
“Don’t you think,” she said, holding each boy close to her, “we should wait for it to dry a little more?”
“Ahhh,” she smiled, “you want to get dirty.”
Buzz pulled away at arms’ length, tilting back a few degrees, still holding tightly to her arm. “Mom says dirt happens to me and Zilker.”
Zilker nodded, confirming.
“Happens, huh?” Rosetta said, rising and looking out the large window.
Her backyard was recovering nicely from the five year drought Texas had suffered recently. She and Arturo had planted new miniature rose bushes along two sides, and added squares of sod seeded with new grass. But here and there bald spots of brown damp earth glistened beneath a sun being wiped clean by passing clouds.
“Okay,” she said slowly, almost to herself. “We’ll go outside. I have a surprise for you.”
“Yay! Can grandpa come too?”
“Yeah, where is he?”
“He’s at work right now, boys, you knew that,” Rosetta smiled.
“I forgot,” said Buzz.
“Why’s he at work,” asked Zilker.
“Yeah, I thought ya’ll were retired,” said Buzz.
“We are,” said Rosetta
Buzz made a face, said, “then how come he’s still working?”
“Well, sometimes it’s nice to have some extra money, for something special. He’s just working another week.”
Both boys nodded, thinking.
“Special. Like what?” asked Zilker. “Mom says we have everything we need. Do you and grandpa need something?”
“Yeah, we can give you one of ours, we have two of too much, mom says,” Buzz added.
Rosetta went to the long brown hutch she’d kept after her mother had passed away and, passing her hands along the smooth cherry wood, opened the top drawer. Buzz and Zilker crowded behind and beside her and peered into the drawer. Zilker had to stand on his toes to see.
“Ooooh, a bell!” cried Zilker.
“Does it work?” asked Buzz.
“It works,” said Rosetta, “but as a bowl. One that sings.”
“Yeah! A bell-bowl!”
Rosetta chuckled and reached inside the drawer, careful to hide the small list on a tiny sheet of note paper beneath the tiny bowl. Gift ideas for the six grandchildren. Butterfly makeup for the tween girls. A book for the oldest grandchild. A season pass to the Texas State Parks for the oldest one. And two question marks beside Buzz and Zilker’s names.
“Oh, yes,” said Rosetta.
Rosetta laughed. “Not yet. I want you to hear it outside first.”
“Why?” both boys asked.
“You’ll see,” Rosetta smiled.
Gingerly, they exited the back door to the yard, slipped their shoes and socks off onto the covered stone patio Rosetta and Arturo had laid the summer before, and stepped a quarter inch deep into the cool damp earth.
“It’s saturated,” giggled Rosetta.
“That’s good, grandma?”
“I don’t think there’s a dry place to sit,” Zilker said, pursing his lip, his small brows rolling down in a wave above his eyes.
Rosetta thought, then decided quickly.
“I guess we’ll just have to get muddy -” she said.
“Yay!” and both boys plopped down.
“Oops,” said Buzz, see Rosetta still standing. “Wrong spot?”
Zilker waited, palms down deep into the mud ready to get up if needed.
Rosetta took a breath, glanced at her clothes, figured she could throw them into the next day’s wash, and joined the two boys.
The three smiled like a kitty cat with catnip.
Buzz began makes circles in the mud with his hand.
Zilker poked tiny indents into the squishy wet earth with his thumb.
Rosetta took out her golden chime from one huge garden pocket in her smock, and a tiny gong ringer from the other. Like a child announcing her first tea party with her best friends, she dinged the tiny bowl in one smooth turn of her wrist.
The sound rang into the air, rose, held, then faded into the breath-held silence between the three.
“Woowwww,” whispered Zilker.
“Double wow!,” chanted Buzz.
They both looked to Rosetta.
And all three laughed like they had found their first lady bug and let it run over their arms and into their hearts.
In the quiet, Buzz said, “I still wish grandpa was here.”
Zilker nodded so hard, he held his lips tight in a light, as if he didn’t, his mouth and tongue would flop and bounce away.
“He is,” Rosetta insisted.
But she saw the boys quint and try to see how that could be true.
“You’re right,” she said, “I meant we can hear him.”
Both boys looked right and left, searching.
Their eyes asked, “Where?”
Rosetta tried to hide the effort to think even faster. “He, He’s, uh, his heartbeat, is right here, in the earth. We can hear it,” and she leaned her head to the left, toward her good ear.
“Mom says I always have wax in my ears, grandma,” said Buzz. “I can’t hear him.” And he fought off a sob that tried to rise and shout his frustration.
Zilker sat wide-eyed, waiting.
“Grandma,” Zilker asked. “Can I lay down on the ground and listen better?”
Buzz didn’t wait for the answer and flopped himself belly first onto the wet grass.
Zilker hesitated, but Rosetta gave his a tiny nod, and he quickly joined his older brother.
“We don’t hear anything, grandma,” complained Buzz.
Rosetta lay down between the two boys and pressed her body to the wet ground. She felt the coolness and ripeness of the replenished earth seep through her clothes and dampen her skin. Gently, she placed her hands, palms down, on each boy’s back, and let her finger tips rest like electrodes on their shirts. She felt each boy relax and inhale deeply, the soil rich with released scents of seeds and roots and readiness.
“Listen again,” she whispered.
Rosetta dinged her chime.
“Inside the bell sound the bowl sends out,” Rosetta said, “inside the earth, right here below us, grandpa’s heart beat is passing down his feet into the earth and back up to the bowl. It’s why it sings. Can you hear it?”
“I can! I can!” cried Buzz, rolling a small finger in his right ear.
“Me too!” shouted Zilker, rubbing his nose clean of mud.
“Can he hear us, grandma?” asked Buzz.
“Yes. Of course. Well,” she added, “he feels you, thinking of him. Ask him when he gets home, if he thought of you.”
“Wow. Can I do the bell, grandma?” asked Zilker
“It’s a bowl,” corrected Buzz.
Rosetta smiled, “It’s a little bit of both.”
The two boys seemed to like that.
All three came to sitting, legs slithered across the grass. She held the bowl where the dull gold glinted new beneath the fresh sunlight.
“They’re like magic bowls,” said Rosetta.
“Like for cereal?” asked Zilker.
“Can be,” Rosetta said.
“Mom says we have to use dishwasher safe,” said Buzz.
“Smart woman,” laughed Rosetta.
“Well,” said Buzz. “That’s ok.”
“Yeah,” said Zilker. “They’re still fun.”
“Fun is good, right, grandma?”
“Yes, Buzz. Fun is good.”
More of My Related Blog Posts
I plan on releasing my short novel, The Old American Artist (1st published July 2012 while living in Vermont) chapter by chapter, in full, the same way, here on my site, in the near future.
Recovery time from my surgery this Friday may turn out to be a good time for that project, lol! 😊
The Old American Artist – an excerpt
© Felipe Adan Lerma
Arturo, the “American Arturo” as some villagers affectionately called him, could feel the scratch of his beard, even being just a week old. Maybe now, in my sixties, he thought, my days are like weeks now. One running to the other. Is this what timelessness was? he wondered. He hoped not.
Squinting his eyes to shut out his thoughts, he followed the dusty curling rolling road that trailed into the distance from what his children called his “escape.”
This part of the upper Mediterranean, reminded him of the weather in Austin. Blended with Galveston. Hot. Humid. But not as crowded. Not as hot. Arturo was glad he had taken a break from the bustle of Texas. And the cold of Vermont.
My “Old American Artist” Twitter excerpt series here on my site 😊
from the book page –
“100% of the royalties earned or accrued in the purchase of this book, in all formats, will go to the Pamela Winton tribute fund, which is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.”
Feeling this was a good cause, I read and reviewed each contributed short story and found my own short was among an amazingly diverse, wonderfully entertaining spread of genres and perspectives! I was very glad to have contributed, and still feel the same way ❤️
- You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology – 100% of Proceeds to Charity
- You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology: Reviews Links and Excerpts, Part 1 – 100% of Proceeds to Charity
- You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology: Reviews Links and Excerpts, Part 2 – 100% of Proceeds to Charity
- You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology: Reviews Links and Excerpts, Part 3 – 100% of Proceeds to Charity
- You’re Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology: Reviews Links and Excerpts, Part 4 – 100% of Proceeds to Charity
- My Meditation & Art – Synergy, Or Coincidence Redux?
- dVerse Poets Pub: Meeting the Bar: Impressionistic Writing – Accelerating Into the Curve
My Related Amazon Search & Products
All the best everyone!