She knew it’s soothing creak by heart and as she sat gazing out the window, dozing by the fire. The memories of the years gone by flooded upon her. Back and forth it swayed, just as it had through all her hopes, dreams and heartaches.
She was still young enough to run barefoot and carefree through the tall grass, sprinkled with flowers, as she danced blissfully in her dreams. She thought of the rocking chair by the hearth and longed for the day she would have of her own just as her mother’s. It was the dream of a young girl, with her life ahead of her and dreams singing in her heart, ready to burst forth. She remembered the nights her mother had sat up soothing her to sleep when she was sick, as they went back and forth in the rocking chair until the restless girl fell asleep in the magical embrace of her mother’s arms.
As her grandchildren climbed up into the chair’s lap and she heard their gay laughter floating up to the rafters while they galloped on their beautiful stallion across foreign lands, not to the sound of clippity clop but rather to the faithful creak of the rocking chair that once filled the dreams of the young girl, now grown old.
As she lay in bed thinking of the young man, her thoughts wandered to a little house with yellow curtains, the sound of the ax splitting wood to keep the three warm in the winter and a blissful young mother stroking the peachlike fuzz of the first small head to rest in the crook of her arm, swaying gently back and forth in the rocking chair.
As her weary limbs rested for the first time since rising that morning, the kind rocking chair offered them repose. Her children gathered round; coming together after each having gone his or her way with the passing of the day. The mother sat and looked into the faces and hearts of her children as they all drank in the life giving water the mother offered to her children while she read to them from the Book that tells of the Shepherd and His sheep.
She was a bride in all her bliss, as her man, the young man of her dreams, made her cover her eyes with her hands. He knew she would try and peek and gleefully caught her doing just that, in time to keep her from seeing his surprise too soon. Her joyful giggles floated around the two and she waited in anticipation to see what it could be. With the birds singing in the trees outside, he smiled to see the joy in the face of his bride when she took her hands from her face and saw the rocking chair he had labored to make for her.
She sat in the chair as her daughter’s head rested on her lap, tears streaming down, as life’s first heartbreak tugged on her daughter’s heart despite the mother’s efforts to keep it from ever touching the daughter, not yet a women. She stroked the head gently and offered the wisdom only a mother can give, wondering where the years had gone. Her babies had now begun dreaming of their own rocking chairs.
It was the frazzled mother with small ones, little ones and in-between ones underfoot all day. With soup boiling over, her children squabbling over the last cookie and the laundry pile seeming to double by the hour, she sat in the rocking chair for a moment to pray for the help to carry on and to continue to have a kind word for each of the little lives that rested in her care.
She looked on as her family gathered from near and far and surrounded the mother they all loved with the sound of families of their very own. Her gentle guiding and patient kindness had brought forth children who were now wisely guiding children of their own, who on visits to the mother, now grandmother, heard stories as she rocked them in the chair that had rocked their mothers and fathers so many years ago, just yesterday.
Back and forth with the gentle creak keeping time, she looked out the window and dozed by the fire. The faithful chair supporting the head now crowned with grey that belonged to a grandmother, a hopeful mother and a dreaming young girl, as she looked back over the weeks and years that seemed would never come, yet passed so quickly. Happily, she gazed at the snow drifting down like her memories and remembered fondly the girl dancing in her dreams and the rocking chair that had seen her through them all.
I hope you enjoyed my story, whether reading it as the barefoot young girl, the bride in all her bliss, the frazzled mother with small ones, little ones and in-between ones under foot all day or the head crowned with grey that belongs to a grandmother. A couple of weeks ago, when the underlying concept of this story started to play across my mind, I had no idea were it was going to take me.
It first started when I was observing my mom and her friends at the tea party. It struck me that the bunch of women gathered together looked an awful lot like us teen girls as they chatted, laughed, giggled and talked all at once.
Then a couple of days later, I got to go to lunch with my grandma and her friends after attending a quilt guild meeting with them. Again it struck me that their chatter was very familiar as they chit chatted about which clothing stores were best, who had just had a baby and who was getting married.
And then there were my friends and I sitting around talking about our dreams for our futures and the families we dream of having some day. In each group of women, all were talking about their families and children some dreaming about them in the future, others about their families decidedly under tow now and then there were those talking of their now grown children and grandchildren.
Their was a theme, but what kind of journey would the words inspired by this theme take me? A couple of weeks later as I lay in bed (one of the best places for inspiration), I got to thinking about rocking chairs. Doesn’t the thought of a rocking chair fill you with hopes, dreams or memories? Hopes, dreams and memories that lay deep within a women’s very being?
As I pictured a rocking chair, I thought of how my mom had held her rocking chair in such esteem when she had my first brother and how I remembered it ten years later all of the sudden. I remarked upon the fact to my sister that the kind of “rocking chair” I was thinking about was something only a women would probably understand.
Thus, at 12:00am after a long day, the story that had been waiting to come into being began to become a reality. An hour later at 1:00am, the first draft of “The Rocking Chair” was composed. Strange how unconventional the timing had to be? Yet I knew I had to strike while the iron was hot or the words might just flee in my sleep.
As I wrote, I couldn’t help but think of the women in my life that I hold dear. So I dedicate this story to the women who help shape my life every day. My mother, Kerry, who I pictured in each scene as I wrote this story. My grandmothers who are really just a bunch of young girls, except that their dreams have become real and are held in the palms of their now wise hands. My sister, Katie, and two friends who are like sisters, Cassie and Grace; as amongst us, many dreams are being kept. And all those women who daily set an example to me, as they walk this road called life, as women and mothers in Christ.
Keep Dreaming, Living in Your Dreams and Enjoying the Gift of the Years Spent Creating Your Dreams.