I slowly inched up the steps in an effort to not give myself away, yet the boards under my feet creaked and moaned.
I stopped and pressed my nose to the panes. My young head didn’t know of such things…yet, what I saw was close to divine beauty in my heart. As I slowly shifted my feet the world changed from amber, to green, and then to my treasured blue. I was looking through a magic lens – one that instantly changed a sunny day to a softened hue, with texture that softened to gentle drops of rain. It was much like a dream, but real and filled with glorious imagination.
I continued up the staircase as I whispered, ‘Do I dare sit on the rocking chair?’ I could tiptoe over to it while holding onto the banister, as long as I kept my feet close to the edge. She said she didn’t know how safe the floor was. But the window in the alcove, with sun filtering through the lace curtain, the small table draped with a delicate crocheted cloth, and the solitude…what a place it was to read. Nobody would dare go there…but I. A place where I could ponder. Alone. Thank you, God.
The musty aroma of the house combined with the rising heat of the day was familiar and pleasant. There was no dust, it was the smell of age. If I could only visit more often! This was grandmother’s house. Even then, filled with remnants of days gone by.
What if the radio worked? It was larger than I. What if I could walk out that door in the bedroom, to stand on the roof above the porch? What if I sat there all day and then night, accompanied by the light of the moon? They said it was not safe, but what if?
I soundlessly opened a drawer. It was empty. I picked up a small pillow. How many babies had slept in the crib? I opened the wardrobe and imagined my mother’s school dresses, starched and ironed to perfection without a wrinkle.
A row of books caught my eye. Books! Quietly, I slid the first one out. I gasped and nearly lost my footing as something close to my fingers moved. I slammed the book back into place, happy that the tiny spider did not land on my hand. My heart hammered. Payback! I reminded myself that I was snooping. Yet, I could hear grandmother’s words, echoing as if it were just moments ago, telling my mother, “Let her be. She isn’t harming a thing up there.” I was not.
I was gathering memories.
Did you have a favorite place as a child, or perhaps you now, where you went for solitude – to ponder, dream, read, or to meditate or pray?