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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2188328
Rated: E · Monologue · Family · #2188328
A Remembered Childhood...
From their earliest years, I have called my daughters 'Jelly Bean' and 'Jelly Roll.' Exactly how or why they came by their nicknames is lost to my memory...as are so many other things. But they have each affectionately carried their sobriquet throughout their lives without question, so when I address a Birthday Card 'JR' to Allyson...or 'JB' to Katy...there is a life-long understanding that I am referring to them. But for Katy, there was an enchanted interlude between late childhood and early adolescence when 'JB' unexpectedly acquired a delightful, dual identity...

At the time, we lived in a charming, much older blue-collar neighborhood in central Colorado Springs. The narrow streets were faithfully lined with slightly-buckled sidewalks that were lovingly shaded by thick, gnarly trees who had gradually become their devoted partners in old age as they graciously lowered their branches in genteel invitation for all to climb and explore. Just down the block, the stucco-walled general store had a screen door with a polka-dot 'Wonder Bread' sign out front...and a bare, wooden floor whose back aisle lead to a small, flip-top steel freezer where we would agonizingly ponder over a myriad of ice cream novelties. The footbridge beside our house arched over a dark, moss-bottomed creek that meandered through the neighborhood and had to be fearlessly crossed each time we walked Katy to and from Taylor Elementary. It was a perfect, magical confluence of place and time in a young girl's life. A fleeting season where mythical memories so abound that you ask yourself later in life: "Was it real?" And it was during this time that I met Julie Blueheart...

Just how she came by the powder-blue, Victorian-style dress I really can't recall. But it fit her perfectly as it flowed to the ground and became a part of her...awakening something in her spirit the way a rare thing will do with a child without any obvious explanation being possible. Other than church or school, it was difficult to justify to her why she couldn't wear it...and so she did. And in doing so, an imagined transformation unfailingly came over her. Back in the day, Mr. T would have said, "I PITY THE FOOL THAT CALLS HER KATY!" For when you did so, she would respond with firm politeness: "Please don't call me that...my name is Julie Blueheart." And off she would coddiwomple throughout the neighborhood, seeing her small world through different eyes as she would rescue a small kitten that had stumbled upon the secret of climbing a tree, but lacked the knowledge of just how to back down...befriending a lonely young girl sitting on her porch step with an extended game of hopscotch and a cool drink of grape kool-aid from her canteen as they retreated in new-found friendship to the shade of the front porch in the mid-day heat...helping an elderly lady who struggled with her packages at the bus stop, then saving the insisted, proffered tip to add to the offering plate at church on Sunday. Summer nights would invariably find her out in our camper reading by candlelight...loudly whispering a mysterious story from 'The Baby-Sitters Club' to her little sister and a small circle of enthralled listeners...

The passing years add much to our lives...but they take from us, as well. And the day inevitably arrived when my daughter had clearly outgrown her treasured dress, much as she tried not to. But the passing of time has only enamored my memory of it as I fondly recall 'The Adventures of Julie Blueheart.' She is all grown up now...and tomorrow is her birthday. The years, indeed, fly by. God has graced her life with a devoted husband whom I deeply admire, a completely simpatico grandson that I truly adore, and a Heavenly Blessing that I greatly anticipate. And yet...

...I can still lean at the back door of my heart...look out across the field and see the solitary figure of a young girl wistfully smiling back at me from across the years as she stands in the lengthening shadow of an ancient Juniper tree. A deep curtsy. Then gathering the hem of her powder-blue dress in one hand, she begins to slowly spin around in three-quarter time to the distant, measured strains of a song that she alone can hear...her dusky, bare feet tracing vague circles in the dark Colorado soil. And with eyes tightly-closed in prescient imagination, and a delighted smile playing upon her lips, she waltzes through life with her beloved Prince Jake in the gathering chill of a Rocky Mountain twilight...






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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2188328