Finding the silver egg

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013

By Rex Alphin

At 2, he noticed the oval-shaped aluminum foil in the tall fescue and trotted over for inspection. The adult crowd just to his rear, for some reason, seemed exuberant as he leaned over with his short body and grasped with both hands the oddly shaped object in his backyard. He had passed this way many times the past week but had never noticed its presence.

Looking up, he was surrounded by exuberant faces gazing down at him. There was talking and laughter. It seemed the attention, in its entirety, was focused on him. Looking around, he savored his newfound position. He had sometimes succeeded in capturing a few faces, but rarely such a crowd in its entirety.

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Shaking the egg prompted even more adulation. The other children had gathered for his antics, and he noticed, with satisfaction, their envy of his new possession. “Must be the egg,” he thought. “This silver egg.” Its power swirled about him as nothing had done before. The moment buried itself into his memory as he glanced up once again at the beaming faces and shook the egg.

At 26, he noticed the new auto facing Highway 17 at Lee’s Automotive Sales. For weeks he’d been driving by with envy, noticing its sleek lines and admiring its clean silver color, imagining himself behind the wheel.

But today, with a steady job and a father’s co-sign, his desire had come to long-awaited fruition as he pulled up to the glass-fronted building marked “Sales.” Completing the paperwork, he slipped across the leather seat and wrapped his fingers around the cushioned steering wheel as the new-car aroma turned intoxicating.

With a shaking right hand, he inserted the key and gave a turn as the fresh engine came alive and settled into a low, mesmerizing hum. Turning left onto 17 he headed east and found his home street. He slowed to a crawl, put the windows down, cranked up the music and adopted an “I-really-don’t-notice-anyone-looking-at-me” posture.

Heads turned as he rode past. Mrs. Jones came to the front door and stared. Jacob Newhouse snapped a picture and sent it ‘round to his friends. A dog barked at the strange new vehicle in the neighborhood.

He imagined their envious eyes as he savored his newfound attention and nestled into the moment.

Maybe he was just finding his silver egg again. Maybe that’s what we’re all looking for.

Rex Alphin of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is