I’ve wanted to talk about the news these days, but one story piles on another until they waft across the sky like clouds. What was it that I saw, out there in faraway? What was it that the newspapers quoted and released, whether true or subjective idea? In fact, what is true these days.
The Olympics which bring to light a son’s fear of his parents? But wait, not here, not yet. Could it be that sport fills man’s dreams, but forgets the art of losing with honor? Perhaps, but not here, not yet. What of the Trumpets of Doom or Jousters of Certainty and Light, should they join us? No, not even this would bring me to write. The typewriter is calm tonight. Evil rests upon the wires which I must answer, but not tonight. The office is closed.
The hearth is lit tonight. A rousing fire finds itself a home putting rouge into your cheeks. The nanny waits in the kitchen with the butler, cook, and maid. A small staff who make their bread and butter as I make mine. Their fortune is tightly bound to our own. I close my eyes to the world for just a moment, then open them and see you. You should sit up straight at the table and wait for me to speak, but you natter on, your mind obviously elsewhere. There is no haste between us. You barely dream of my world. I worry constantly about yours.
The children lean upon the table in need of sleep, but I keep them with us still. They are our children. After a day of plunging arms into laundry, shining knives and forks for the dining room, of making beds and fluffing down into new homes for pillows, you still sit leaning into the gossip of the streets. Our world, as it is told, is one of parenthood, workplace, and hearth. There is more to it, more than the onlookers would understand, for our world is one of patience. The coin in our accounts is barely enough to keep you, my love, but keep us it does. Your hand at the art of homemaking stretches everything we own into beauty, art and song. The children are your pearls about your neck. They are my weeds within our garden, blooming and winding their winsome charms to please you. They run and play. The tutor who comes three days a week and is shared with out neighbor, that master of knowledge, will soon fail in his duty.
How much longer until we flee to our own place far across the ancient skies to the beginning of lives?
How much longer indeed?
“Children, I have changed my mind this evening. Your story of Princesses and scholars must wait until the morning when the sun shines and voices rejoice. Help each other to bed and leave your mother and I alone.”
“Good night, my loves.” Her gentle voice showing no surprise at my change in mood. They rise and help the youngest, the eldest picking her up with a kiss on her angelic cheek.
“Good night, Mother. Come tuck us in soon, please.”
“Of course, my dears. Father and I will be up in just a little bit. Go get Nanny to help you get ready.”
As they leave, my gentle daughter turns back to look at me. Her small sister is already asleep against her neck.
“Father, you don’t have to worry about us. We’ll do what we are bidden We love you both.”
My wife rises and turns her head to me. She moves the length of the table and waits for me to move my chair.
“Is it time to go so soon?” she says as she sits upon my lap and lays her head upon my shoulder. I cannot answer, my heart frozen despite her answering warmth.
I lean my head against hers.
“I don’t know.” The dark circles in around us, even the staff leaving the quiet alone. “It will be this week. I’ve made the changes that need making. I don’t know how much longer.”