Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
TITLE: Rainbows and the Promise of Spring
By Pamela Kliewer
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This journey to Oregon was not her choice. She would rather be back home in Missouri with Carl, her beloved, but when he had asked Lydia’s Pa for her hand in marriage he said no and had a hankering to get on the trail as soon as possible.
“I been thinkin’ on this for quite a spell. Now’s good a time as any to make the move,” her Pa had said, his voice firm. “Ya got no call ta be marryin’ that boy, Lydia. Ya bein’ only fifteen and him bein’ twenty-two. Effen he still loves ya a year after we reach Oregon territory and wants ta marry ya then, he can foller us and marry ya in the spring two years hence.”
As Lydia continued to finger the locket that held the daguerreotype of Carl, she pictured his handsome face and bright eyes just as she had seen him on that lovely spring day when the trees were lacy with pink flowers and he had declared his love for her. Life was all rainbows that day… she felt they were literally bursting from her; full of promise of a future of love and laughter.
She remembered Carl’s words. “Lydia, my heart is yours. You captured it the moment I laid eyes on your fair face a year ago. I love you. I’m going to ask your Pa real soon for your hand in marriage.”
Lydia giggled; his speech was so proper. She had never met anyone like him, so dignified and intelligent.
“Lyddie? Did you hear me? I love you.”
“Oh, yeah, Carl. I heard ya.” She spun around in delight… eyes shining, face aglow. “I love ya, too, Carl Miller. I love ya, too!”
A week later Carl had asked her Pa for her hand… he had also given her the lovely locket.
She remembered the way his shy eyes sought her face; she’d never seen him so shy and not knowing what to say. It touched her deeply. “I bought you something.” He said as he handed her the locket.
“Oh, Carl!” Her eyes misted with tears.
“Don’t forget me Lyddie.” Carl whispered.
He turned to walk away, just as Lydia tucked a lace handkerchief into his hand. “Don’t ferget me neither, Carl. Please.” Her voice broke.
“I won’t.” He turned and walked away.
The night before Lydia and her family left, she had a moment alone with Carl. Tears ran down both of their cheeks as they held each other in a tight embrace. No words were necessary. She had his promise in the way he looked at her one last time and then turned and walked slowly away, leaving her standing alone, her heart walking away with him.
She held tight to that promise as she again fingered the locket, opening it; gazing on his beloved face, hoping and believing that he would keep his promise to begin making his way to Oregon the following Spring.
The crocus poked their heads through the rich Oregon soil, springing to life in an array of beauty, joining the narcissus in a dance of joy. March turned to April and April to May… the months slowly passing one by one.
Lydia sat on the porch the first part of September peeling and slicing peaches, her thoughts never far from Carl, wondering if he would come, fast losing hope with each passing day. Hearing the sound of a wagon in the yard she looked up, her eyes filling with tears as she recognized Carl sitting on the seat. She rose and flew down the path, as he jumped from the wagon, running toward her.
“Oh, Carl! Ya came! I was gettin’ so worried. I thought ya’d ferget me, sure.”
“How could I forget you? I told you more than a year ago that you captured my heart… and you have not let go of it in all these months. I love you, Lyddie, and I mean to make you my wife, come spring. Me and your Pa have been corresponding and he promised me a piece of this fine land to build a house on.”
Lydia’s eyes grew wide. “Really?” she squealed. “Oh, Carl!” Tears ran down her cheeks, as once again rainbows seemed to burst from her heart, the promise of spring bright in her eyes…
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