(A creative writing prompt/exercise I found online)
06 December, 2009
(26 days until the wedding. The hour before my very first bridal shower.)
My ideal place is quite like a film; there’s a soundtrack to everyone’s life.
Sometimes, lives merge and two soundtracks become one.
That’s what’s about to happen in my life.
My ideal place has four seasons: leaves that change from green to gold and red, falling slowly to the ground as if for my own happiness’ sake. They position themselves just so, for me to step on them, all crunchy and wonderful, and my children in tow like little ducklings following as I zig-zag to step on the pretty little crunchy leaves.
Occasionally, I pick up a big golden one and play peek-a-boo with it – they giggle and mimic my game.
My ideal place would have my husband who’d rake up all the crunchy leaves in our front yard and my kids and I would jump in the big pile of leaves and the fall air would fill with our laughter. My husband would plop down in the leaves and balance a child in the air above him and child would shout out a cry of laughter and that’s all the soundtrack we’d need for just such a beautiful fall day.
Weeks later, we’d lay in the snow in our warm winter coats and make snow angels, blinking as flakes fall on our face and melt away.
Our children would laugh again, tire of the snow angels and begin to build snowmen.
I’d go inside and make hot chocolate from scratch, complete with those little marshmallows all melt-y and delicious.
We’d have an evergreen tree in our yard that we’d decorate outside with ornaments and lights and we’d sit inside by a fire and tell the story of baby Jesus.
I’d have a baby in my lap and another at my side, husband and another on the other side.
We’d read stories together and paint pictures. We’d laugh and they’d delight in calling my name – mommy. So precious, so sweet, a word I look forward to hearing in all seasons of life.
I close my eyes and think of my ideal place and the thoughts are varied – seemingly opposing worlds that vie for my heart’s desire.
There is, of course, the afore mentioned dreamland with my yet-to-exist-family.
Then, there’s the other.
You can smell the heat in the air, hear the water gushing in the jugs as the young girls carry them up the unpaved road toward their various homesteads. They’ll spend most of the day carrying water. Water I’ve been taught to be afraid to drink. Water that I cup my hands into and bring to my face and slurp quickly before it all runs through my fingers.
Babies certainly aren’t absent from this daydream.
There’s one holding onto my leg and another behind me yawning into the morning sun.
There’s husband by the fire boiling water for tea and occasionally stirring the oatmeal he got up a little extra early to cook this morning.
Our ‘neighbors’ come running up the way. Two young girls singing, “Sanibonani!” They greet us with warm smiles and laughter as they walk around to my backside to tickle the previously mentioned baby that’s strapped to my back. Sweet little white face squinting into the daylight. He coos and they giggle.
Beautiful children, beautiful land. My heart is warm and overflowing with joy at the thought of beautiful Swaziland being my home.
Killing chicken to eat, boiling water for bathing… Going to sleep at sunset and waking at sunrise.
It feels as though this is the closest thing to heaven as I can get on this earth – the way he intended for us to live. Dependent on Him to provide the water, the weather, the food, everything.
How to balance the conflicting places my ecstatic heart hopes for?
I’m not sure.
He’ll get me there, though.
He’ll get us there, though.
—- Author’s note —-
Although we LOVE and want babies a lot, in the best interest of our future children, we’re planning on waiting a while to have any.