Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chapter 18: Expectations, pt 1

After a brief respite, we return to the sitting room to continue unpacking. The second box on the table is larger and flatter then the first. The top is tucked closed, so I have to wrestle a bit to get it open, eventually pulling it into my lap before I finally open the top. Even so, It is difficult to see into it. Finally I make out the topmost object, a simple, clear glass bud vase filled with dead roses.

Pulling it out, I push the box back on to the table. As with the doll before, I feel baffled at this object, unable to understand the significance at all. Wordlessly, He extends His hand, silently asking to hold to object Himself. I am happy to hand it to Him, hoping He will explain.

Taking the vase in His hands, He turns it softly, inspecting the dead flowers, then hands it back to me. "These are your expectations, those things that you walk into the new and unknown with. These are how you see the world, the filters and lenses you view it through."

His explanation is unnerving. I take the vase back. The condition of the flowers does explain quite a bit. "But what do I do with it, Papa?"

A pause hangs heavy in the air before He responds. "These need to be changed, child." His voice is soft even gentle. Then He adds, "Three of these will require my correction to change."

His last words hang heavily between us. I have tasted His correction and know it is good, but it is hard. I know I have the choice of what to do. I know what I must do, but find myself slow to do it.

Gently He takes the vase from me again and places it on the right side of the mantle. I stare at the dry, crumbling blossoms for a long time.

Swallowing hard against the fear of His correction, I can finally speak the words that are ringing in my heart, "No, Papa, these cannot stay. As you say, they must not stay."

He says nothing, but reaches to hand the vase back to me, beckoning me to follow Him. My heart is heavy though. I dread the long walk to the grove. From the balcony it seems we were so close to it, in the shade of the great magnolia tree.

“You are right, we are close.” He comments on my thought. “Come daughter, let me show you.” He walks to the balcony and through the gate onto the balcony of His chambers. In the wall beside the door leading into His sitting room, there is another door, one I had not seen before. Within lies a staircase of smooth grey stone. Stone walls rise on either side of the staircase. The wall on the right is lined with small windows lighting the staircase cheerfully. The stairs are short and easy to climb, ending in a door opening into the grove. Although parts of me dread the process that I know will follow, I am at the same time relieved not to face the long walk to that point.

Part 2-->

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