Midnight Reflections – McClellanville – With This Ring

–Co-authored with Raissa Urdiales

The February winds blew off the ocean rattling the rafters and shutters.  The roar of the wind was loud, filled with power, and fearful to those behind closed doors.  Joshua was deep in thought, putting the last touches on the sunroom facing the morning sunrise.  It was a secret that Olivia couldn’t see until after their wedding.

He had built an amazing art studio, filled with racks for her canvases and stacks of drawers for her watercolors and drawings.  He used a white Maplewood for the trays, building many sizes for pens, charcoals, pencils, and her cherished brushes.  He found four easels from his favorite antique store in Savannah, hoping this would trigger her inspiration.

His greatest surprise was an oak writing desk said to once belonging to Flannery O’ Connor, she was a Southern Gothic style writer.  He placed this by the high windows looking out upon the sea, again hoping to inspire Olivia to unleash the words with strong ink and write her own books, telling her own stories.

Joshua walked over to his study downstairs and sat in his leather chair that he brought up from his Charleston office and took out a ring case from his Barbour jacket, opening the leather case he sat in awe of the ring.  It was designed by Heidi Gibson and was truly one of a kind, a gift that spoke of love and a lifetime promise.  Lastly, he had a perfumer from Savanah create a fragrance called Midnight Reflections for her and him on their wedding day.

He was surprised at how fast time had passed.  Their wedding was only a few weeks away.  The church was on Pawleys Island, built on the inlet, and was designated as a historic place.  It was a small little church and yet he was sure that it would hold the boundless love they both felt.  He put the ring away and grabbed his dog.  They walked out to his jeep and headed to Pawleys Island.  Oliva had no idea that he built her a new studio, filled with magic, inspiration, and things old and new.


It seemed hard to believe the wedding was only weeks away. So much planning had gone into the one single day when Olivia Klein would become Olivia Zaneau. She looked forward to transforming from OK to somewhere over the rainbow in OZ with her prince charming Joshua. Indeed it had felt like a fairytale, all starting from that chance meeting on that rainy night.

Many decisions had been made since Joshua proposed, none that seemed at all difficult. It was like the path to the future was laid ahead of them like the yellow brick road, and all they needed to do was follow it.

In planning the nuptials, Olivia’s past corporate life was triggered but in a much different way. She had begun painting years ago to quiet her overly active verbal mind. She had learned that the best way to silence her mind before lying down to sleep was to paint a picture of where she would like to escape. Sometimes she imagined lying in a forest, gazing up at the sky, or traveling down a road that led to a marsh with beautiful flowers and wispy grasses.   Other times, she escaped to the grand expanse of the ocean where waves caressed the shore.

She had once been a gifted writer with a promising career ahead until corporate-speak took over her writing and governed her content. Her articles had become about this, not that, leaders are (fill in the blank), have empathy, and be firm but not too assertive, kind of tone. Finally, she tired of it and just stopped writing altogether and focused on her art.

Joshua was such a talented writer. It sparked something from her childhood when she would write stories about adventures with rich characters and captivating storylines. She dared not attempt to write as she was fearful of what words would come out. But, like Olivia’s painting, the words just flowed out from her hand, through the pencil, onto the paper. Perhaps that was what was missing, the actual writing. She had years before transitioned all her writing to typing. So did the act of typing change what she created?

Secretly she began writing again but with a pencil in hand and paper. The sound of the lead crossing over the paper moved her thoughts differently, and something changed. Perhaps there still was that book inside of her that needed to be written. Maybe it was a book to teach others how to awaken the creativity that is asleep in all of us.

She heard Joshua pull up the driveway and quickly put her handwritten journal away for another day. Indeed, she was soon to be in the land of OZ.

Path leading to present:


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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