Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
Hunting For Arrowheads
by Margaret Mary Monahan
The sun was high, the air was cool that day, as my brother and I wandered away from our rented farmhouse, civilization, our family vacation. We trudged across a grassy field where pine trees beckoned, their branches like arms pulling us in. Behind the wall of trees the farmhouse disappeared from view, and we found ourselves cloistered in silence in a little clearing, far removed from our parents and siblings a hundred yards back up the hill.
My pounding heart echoed in my ears like a drum. Behind the lofty pine we sat in the sand and dirt among blueberry bushes, sparse grass in clumps, unearthly quiet but for the wind. Like a graveyard at midnight, but this was the other twelve, the daylit twelve noon. Lonesome winds sighed through the evergreen and lifted their branches with a sifting sound. I could feel spirits all around. After a while we knelt on that deserted ground. Our fingernails clawed the sand. Hunting in the eerie calm, we dug for ancient arrowheads.
[In the confines of memory -- it seems like only yesterday -- I hold fast those sacred stones; crudely hewn, sharpened points I still trace with my thumb.]
After chronicling this precious recollection on Microsoft Word, I emailed it to my older brother who was obsessed with Indian folklore as a boy, and who had granted me passage on that adventure with him. Did I get a surprise when I received his bubble-bursting reply: "I remember," he wrote. "But we did not find any arrowheads that day."
Incidents record differently in everyone's brain. I could swear a small handful of arrowheads bulged in the pocket of my jeans as we hiked back across the field, back to the farmhouse. I much prefer the memory my mind has stored to that of my brother's.
I'm sticking to my story.
Margaret Mary Monahan lives,writes, and remembers in Wilmington, DE.
Back to Flashes