Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How I Met The Butterly In The Attic

Most of my fondest memories are of an old Victorian house where I grew up.  It was a big house and one of my favorite rooms in it was an upstairs balcony. It looked like the one I had seen Juliette calling to Romeo or the one Rapunzel had let down her hair from.  Unfortunately next to this balcony was a very intimidating door that opened to "the attic." 

At one time I had tried to open the door and had been unable to reach the milky white doorknob.  My mother watched me stretch for a while and then simply said "Honey, you don't want to go in there.  It is just full of old stuff; it is dusty, dark and no place to play.  I don't even know what is in there anymore."  

Being a small girl and with my imagination growing over months I had visions of this dark dreadful room.  A place where a small child could get lost and never find their way back out.  I also took "I don't even know what is in there anymore" to mean that there was some kind of dreadful man-eating animal lurking in one of those dusty corners.  Starving to death just waiting for the day I would accidently bump into the door hard enough, fall in, get lost and satisfy his hunger.  Why else would a room be called an attic?  So to prevent my demise I would, naturally, run full speed down the hall to reach the safety of my little balcony.  Not to say that I didn't have an occasional close call when wearing slippery socks but for almost a year all was well.  Until that life changing day…
 I was entertaining my friend "Romeo" who was not enchanted with the role he was coerced into playing.  As he escaped the balcony he stopped right in front of the great door of doom.  "What's in there?"  I tried to sound as if I didn't care at all and said "just stuff."    "Mom said that it is dark and dusty in there and there’s nothing to play with."  Romeo's freckled face turned to me with a mischievous grin "what, are you scared?"  Of course I was a sweet little girl but hearing this come from a boy, it was on!  "No! I'm not scared I just can't reach it."  He smiled with his hand on the knob; I was doomed.

The door creaked as it opened, it smelled like my great grandmother's apartment and it was very dark.  The first thing I noticed was that it looked like the rest of the rooms in the house but with more boxes and it was dusty.  I couldn't see where any man-eating animal would be lurking but I kept an eye open.  As my vision adjusted I notice a little window that was glowing with light from the wintery Midwest morning. 
Then! Out of the corner of my eye a fast movement happened so suddenly that even though I was only 4 years old I thought for sure I was having a heart attack.  I knew it; the man-eating animal was going to drag me in deeper and it would all be "Romeo's" fault.  
As my heart slowed and I could feel nothing dragging me away I ventured a longer look.  I smiled it was amazing; in the middle of the frozen winter was a beautiful bright blue butterfly fluttering at the light in the window.  I made my way over to the sweet little creature and watched it sit on the sill with its wings gently opening and closing. 

After that day my mother would help me bring my new little friend a dish of orange slices.  And each day we would spend time going through the dusty boxes of postcards and pictures and she would tell about the faraway places from a time long ago.  We would dress up in old hats and gloves and don the most beautiful rhinestone jewelry.  My balcony was still one of my favorite places but thanks to a little butterfly I found an entirely new world.  One that was full of mystery, fancy parties, faraway travels and the prettiest little things that people wore and used long before I was born.  My life has been full of wonderful discoveries some are old, some are new, but nothing will compare to the butterfly in the attic.


CremeMagnolia said...

I absolutely loved your story and your blog is beautiful! Your newest follower from EBT.

Norma G. said...

Wow, I wish I had a little "friend" like that, I dont even have an attic! Loved your story. Nice memories.
~EBT member