“Sliding Into My Kitchen”
By Marcia Speicher / Donegal, PA
A little girl snuggles deeper into the safety of her down comforter, only a small oval of face visible to the fresh morning air. The smell of toasting bread slides under her bedroom door and makes its way to the oval. Opening one eye just a peep, she sees that the sun has turned the dust particles to fairy dust, each sparkly speck suspended in the air. She watches closely, hoping that at any moment one of the sparkles will develop features, and she’ll find herself face to face with Tinkerbell. She’s thinking about yesterday when she got to play Peter Pan with her middle brother. Smiling to herself, she recalls how nice he’d been to her while they played. He didn’t do any of his usual power plays by forcing her to do his chores in exchange for the precious playtime he gifted her. They’d put every chair they could find in the house in rows, about 3 feet apart around the sofas, so that they could “fly” through the room while singing – at the tops of their lungs, by the way – “I GOTTA CROW, UR-UR-UR-URRRR”. Maybe they could be friends…
The whistle of the teapot brings the little girl back to now, and she jumps to the floor and runs straight through the fairy dust to the window. From the right angle, she can see if any of the ponies are in the little paddock near the barn. And if they are up by the barn she can sneak out fast, climb over the fence and slide on to one of their backs while they graze. There is nothing in the world finer. If she can sit on Sprite it will be perfect. Sprite is sweet and won’t step away just in time for her to fall to the ground. Sprite is a white pony with a pretty little Arabian head, soft dark eyes, and a long shimmery mane like angel hair. If she gets Sprite, she will lay back with her head on the mare’s rump, and even if the ponies start walking down to the lower pasture she won’t get bucked off. She quietly giggles to herself as she imagines it right now: Sprite walking through the grassy meadow as she leans back with her head on Sprites rump, eyes closed, the smell of earth, feeling each swaying step with the sun’s rays baking her face, the ponies warm furry body warming her back. And even better for the little girl, this will be a ride with no supervision, no instructions on how to sit or what commands to give the pony, or that she should go clean the stalls before she played.
But that was then.
Sighing, I slide back into my kitchen. My coffee cup is empty. The reality is that it’s icy and damp outside, and I want another warm bowl of latte to wrap my fingers around so that I can slide back in to the world where I lived when I was a little girl, a world where dust sparkles turned into Tinkerbell dust. Soon I’ll have to go outside to the barn, smell the winter hay, and blanket the horses that are too spirited for me imagine ever sitting on them bareback, leaning back on their rumps, with the sun warming my face, and their furry bodies warming my back.