Monday, March 8, 2010

the house on the hill full of lupines next to the sea

Maybe I'm the only one who remembers our deal. Maybe I am the only one who ever took it seriously to heart. Maybe I am the only one who felt such a powerful emotion when that story was told, when that spell was spun, when vivid, uninhibited dreams formed in my mind.

Remember, bestie, when we were in third grade?

Remember how that was the first year we met?

Remember how our class would gather 'round the good old librarian Ms. Heffron for story time on rocking chairs in the library?

Remember how we'd sit next to each other?

Remember that day

Ms. Heffron told us the story of Miss Rumphius - The Lupine Lady?

You probably don't remember.

But I do.

It was so amazing, so touching, so heroic. I was so inspired, so breathless, so mesmerized and in awe of that fictional woman and her fictional home by the sea. My imagination was bursting at its seams, colors exploding here and there, an endless reel of photographs playing in my mind. I could perfectly imagine each scene. It was absolutely beautiful.

And later that day, do you remember?

When we were on the swing set, my favorite place of the playground?

When I was queen of the swing set, striving to set the highest record with what tiny strength an eight-year old had?

Well, when we were breathless, till our spindly legs could no longer push us up and away, we sat on the smooth swing set, dangling our feet on the ground, swaying gently together, staring at the ground, watching patterns our feet made in the dirt whenever they brushed the ground.

And after mulling over it in all seriousness, with a frown on my face, I turned to you

and said,

"I promise that someday I'll build a house by the sea so that we can live in it together. A house on top of a hill full of lupines, next to the sea."

I was very serious; I meant it with all my heart and soul. I considered in those few short minutes all the bad things that could happen, like how her parents might not like it, or how we might become nuns since that's apparently what happens to grownup women who don't marry, or how our house on top of the hill with lupines next to the sea might not be safe from huge tidal waves and typhoons. I also thought about the seriousness and important of saying "I promise." I knew it was going to be a huge responsibility. But it was okay, I reasoned. I believed that we would magically be safe from anything that came our way, that our life was this wonderfully perfect design that I'd already figured out.

And you agreed to my promise and said you'd live with me.

Do you remember?

I hadn't thought about this dream of mine for a very long time, but all these years I've kept it with me.

I feel sad, yet I can't help but smile.


Someday, to the

The house on the hill full of lupines, next to the sea.