The Return Completed

The last time I posted I was headed back to the Deep South, the setting for Light Fixtures, chosen because of its distinctive climate and culture.

After the visit, I’ve since returned to my home in the Pacific Northwest and wish to share with you my latest observations on the site and its connections to the book. Having stayed in the area for over a week, I had the opportunity to walk the countryside that so influenced Aurora, Light Fixtures’ protagonist. But would I be able to visualize, as I did when I wrote the YA novel, the Southern teen climbing the hilly pastures, fishing the ponds with her grandmother, finding Mr. Dragonfly, and finally following the flying acrobat through the woods to Mr. Hematite’s place?

Yes and no. Yes, the walk to one of the ponds proved successful; the catfish-filled water with its now dilapidating pier was serene, and the dragonflies were here and there. Aurie would pass the pond on her foray into the woods; it was at the back pond she first met Mr. Dragonfly. Another success (though some may question that!) was feeling the very warm, humid air on my skin. Aurie was always battling the heat and ensuring sweat, though it didn’t seem to bother the mystical Mr. Hematite and his tiny friend the prehistoric Mr. Dragonfly.

The country church cited in the book had not changed, but there was one big change. No longer can one climb the hilly pasture. Now they are dotted with recently planted pine trees that are already taller than Aurora would have been in the novel. Where Aurora could run as fast as the wind and ascend the rolling grass-soon-to-be-hay fields, that was no longer an option.

Of course, nothing in life stays the same. It’s fortunate that, after fifty years, just a few “disruptions” have occurred where Light Fixtures took place. But even with those, there was still a feeling that Aurora’s grandmother’s land continues to hold the energy of three of the book’s characters and their stories: Aurora, Mr. Dragonfly, and Mr. Hematite. After all, you can never lose the memory for those who have been close to your heart…and still are.

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