Sunday, February 2, 2014

Grace (Part 1)

Once upon a time, there was a Great King, who reigned over the Great Kingdom, and lived in what most people would consider a great castle. After all, there were hundreds of rooms, each one uniquely decorated, spacious, and with a breath-taking view of some corner of the Great Kingdom. Some of the rooms were prepared for special guests who traveled from far and wide to visit the Great King. But other rooms were the personal chambers of the members of the royal family.

One of these rooms belonged to a beautiful young lady named Violet. This fair maiden led a peaceful and quiet life, content to sit on her window seat, reading a book, knitting, sewing, or writing. She had been trained in all the proper ways of a noble woman, and excelled at domestic and artistic activities.

Her best friend was her lady-in-waiting, Loyala, and while they enjoyed having tea and talking together, Loyala was concerned about the lady who never left her chambers.

“It’s just that I don’t know who I am,” Violet would say, “and if I go out there, I may lose myself all together.” 

“Nonsense!” Loyala would scold. “Of course you know who you are – you’re Lady Violet of the Great Castle!”

“It isn’t that great,” Violet would say. She could not explain the restlessness she felt inside.

So one day Loyala made a suggestion: “It really is a great castle. What if you explore it a little? Go to some of the other rooms and see what happens – the nursery, or the kitchen, for example. Maybe you will even find who you are in the process.”

Violet thought this sounded like a good idea, so the next day, Loyala led her upstairs to the royal nursery, where she found tiny babies asleep in lacey white bassinets, six-month-olds chewing and drooling on shiny rings and rubber balls, one-year-olds clapping and giggling and singing, and two-year-olds trying to climb out the windows.

“Whoa, hold on there, buddy!” Violet said playfully as she swept a toddler off his feet and tickled his belly. Then she picked up a pair of scissors that had been in his path on the floor and placed them on a high shelf. “Those aren’t good toys. How about we find some blocks?”

“But I want to cut my hair!” the little boy cried. “That girl over there says it’s too long!” He pointed to a chubby child with pigtails and a frilly frock, clutching a pink rabbit and sucking her thumb.

“Oh, I see… it is a bit shaggy,” Violet said, and ruffled his mop. “Well, it is not wise for anyone to cut their own hair, so maybe if you can sit very still, I think I could trim it up for you.”

“Gee, really? Thanks, lady – um, what’s your name?”

“I’m Violet,” she said as she reached again for the scissors.

“Thanks, Auntie Violet, you’re the best!”

At the end of the day, Violet told Loyala all about her adventures in the nursery.

“You are a natural with kids!” Loyala praised. “And I didn’t know you could cut hair! Maybe you are a nanny…?”

“Or a barber,” Violet added, and they laughed together. “I don’t know… I really loved the kids and had fun today, but I’m not sure I am a nanny or a barber at heart.”

“What if you visit the kitchen? I know the cook, and I really think you would like her!” 

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