the tower

This week’s story is based on the following lyrics from Kiss From a Rose by Seal:

“There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea.  You became the light on the dark side of me.” 

……

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“Why do you always look so sad when you look out at the ocean?”

“I’m not sad.”

She smiled kindly and put a hand on his shoulder.  “I didn’t say you were sad, darling.  But, you do look sad when you stare into the distance like you were just doing.”

The corner of his mouth twitched.  He knew what she was talking about but it was going to be hard to put it into words.  He knew, too, that she wouldn’t rush him.  She was patient like that.  It was part of why he loved her, part of why he was comfortable enough around her to let his emotions walk in the past.  His eyes settled on a point just shy of the horizon and his thoughts dipped back into the years between his youth and his adulthood.  Magic years.  Haunting years.

“Have I ever told you the story of the lighthouse?”

“Is this a literal lighthouse?”

His lips twitched again, more than they had before, and the small smile betrayed his truth.  “No, not a literal lighthouse.  It’s a story, a parable or some such thing.”

“Then, no, I don’t think you’ve told me this story.”

Silence, as quiet as the beach ever was, settled around them.  The waves, gentle long rollers, washed in and dragged out, over and over.  A few pelicans gave up fishing for the moment and settled on the surface just beyond the breakers.  The breeze that sometimes roared off the water was little more than a whisper.

“Will you tell me?”

He put his hand on hers, still resting on his shoulder, and nodded.

A moment later he began, “The lighthouse stood on an island far out to sea, it was a beacon of both hope and doom.  To see its light meant were near land, but that land could be your salvation or your death, right?”

She said, “Yes, that makes sense.”

He continued, “We have many lighthouses in our lives.  People.  Memories.  They stand in the vast ocean of our minds and flash their lights at us.  You have to draw near to see the threat, to understand why the lighthouse is there, but if you get too close you will be dashed upon the cliffs, or the reef, or whatever.”

“And you see these, these ‘lighthouses,’ while you are gazing toward the horizon?” She asked.

He squeezed her hand, and answered simply, “Yes.”

“That is sad,” she murmured.

He squeezed her hand again and said, “It’s okay though.  You see, I don’t need the lighthouses anymore.  You’ve always got my back.  You are always helping light my way forward.”

And then the Littlest Prince was two

Dear Littlest Prince,

You are two.  Such an amazing age.  Such an amazing time to be a toddler tornado.  You’re a force to be reckoned with your big laughs, big cries, big mischief, big everything, while still in a little package.  Don’t worry, though, it’ll all even out in the end.  Every day you’re learning and growing.  Soon, sooner than we’ll be ready for, you’ll be adventuring through this life like your two big brothers.  They certainly are doing a great job setting the example for you to follow.

You are two.  It seems like too small number.  It can’t really do justice to the amount of growth and life and adventure you’ve already lived.  How has it only been two years?  Then again, how has it already been two years.  Didn’t you just arrive last week?  Weren’t you just a newborn the other day?  Wasn’t your first birthday yesterday?

You are two.  And the last year saw so many firsts for you.  Your first trip to mammoth and your first time playing in snow.  Your first plane ride, followed quickly by your first night in a hotel, unplanned even as our flights got messed up and we found ourselves stranded in Chicago for a few hours.  Your first trip to Kings Canyon, a place that holds almost magical importance to our family.  The kingdom is our fictional and literal home.  Kings, for a lot of us, is our heart’s home.  The mountains may call to us, but that canyon and that river scream at us in thundering echoes, demanding our attention.  You have no idea what I’m talking about, but you will.

You are two.  And I’m so excited for all the adventures you still have ahead of you.  I know they won’t all be easy but the Queen and I and your two big brothers are always doing our best to help guide you along.  Well, almost always.  I mean, your big brothers adore you of course but they might occasionally work against you.  Brothers.  So it goes in this kingdom, this circus, this whatever this family is from day to day. 

You are two.  You are loved.  That’s what it comes down to.

May you have a wonderful year.

Love you littlest one.

Love,

Daddy/The Jester/Matticus

Kingdom Life Poems, 4 of 4

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The Beach


The beach ends in the crushing surf, the steady ebb and flow of the strongest force on earth.

And here we choose to build our castles, lounge in the sun, and play away the long days.

We walk out to meet the tide, dancing with the waves, relishing the kiss of the sun, all is mirth.

We are instantly refreshed from this well of power, this natural balm, embraced in the ocean’s spray.

Kingdom Life Poems, 3 of 4

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The Winter Mountains

The snow dulls the sharp edges of the cold winter mountains.

It smooths away all blemishes until we slide through and leave our mark.

The evergreens, cozy in their white blankets, splash their color blends.

Everything exudes calm, peace, sanity, the beauty is stark.

Kingdom Life Poems, 2 of 4

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The Summer Mountains


The river whispers its promise of relief from the summer sun baked mountains.

The jays hop and bob, offering their opinions on everything while skittishly moving from tree to tree.

The stars, more than you could count in a hundred lifetimes, bright the sky, an infinite pricks of the pin.

A thunder storm rages in the canyon next door and the echoes roll down the valley.