Saturday, June 16, 2012

Leyla Jo Piper from Nardi Point

Leyla Jo Piper is a clinician, maintaining her own alternative holistic healing practice in Raleigh. She and Laurinda Elliot are best friends, their spirits melding intuition with planned practicality.

Leyla Jo's family history is hazy ... a kind, supportive older woman, "Aunt Beatrice," offered the child a mother's love and nurturing out in the Robeson County countryside of North Carolina.

Here's an excerpt from Nardi Point:
And then, just as suddenly, Leyla Jo crashed out of the image back to the clearing and turned the piece of pottery carefully in her palm. Thick, buff-gray, it had some type of imprinting, impossible to make out the detail now in the growing dusk. A sizzle crept up from her spine, through her shoulders, and locked her position. She knew enough about metaphysical occurrences to pay attention. Time and place came out of sequence and like the disorientation a time traveler would experience, she found herself in a space from long ago.

Three years old and barefoot, she stands on a sorry, ramshackle porch of a small, Carolina farmhouse. An old woman, it’s Aunt Beatrice, holds her small hands together tightly in hers and looks into Leyla Jo's eyes. She looks back into Aunt Beatrice's brown, sun-wrinkled face and knows something’s happened, something she doesn't understand. The dear old woman tells her, momma won’t be back, never mind a father gone long before.

"Will anyone come for me?" Leyla Jo asks.

Aunt Beatrice takes a small round basket made of coiled dried pine needles and places it into her small hands. Leyla Jo knows she is being given a treasure, even then, and recognizes it’s a connection, a link to another time. Aunt Beatrice hastily wipes away tears, the only tears she remembers the dear old woman shedding, then pulls her protectively into her arms. The summer sun edges down behind the pine-covered foothills of Robeson County. That night, Leyla Jo's small makeshift bed tucked next to Aunt Beatrice’s room, becomes comfortably permanent. She loves the safety its warm pinecone patchwork quilt provides.

Nancy LaPonzina Blog
Nardi Point Book Trailer

1 comment:

Molly said...

Robeson County....gotta love a book where I recognize places!!! Thanks for sharing Leyla Jo with us :)