Within Our Palace Walls
Our palace started off as a room.
I remember a game my little sister and I created. It was born underneath her Winnie the Pooh duvet with us curled up together, in between bedtime stories and hushed drowsy conversations.
We were 11 years apart, which meant I felt as though I was raising her while she taught me how to be an older sister, and so much more.
One night, perhaps after all my suggestions for a bedtime story had been turned down, I instructed Emma to close her eyes. I held her hand and asked her to imagine the most fun place she could think of, to tell me about it. I suggested additions to it, such as a chocolate river or perhaps a choir of pink baby elephants.
It was silly. But I’d always loved the unapologetic silliness and boundless imagination of children. As a teenager, I was still clinging to mine, since growing up seemed synonymous with seeing fewer colors in life. Or at least implied that they would be significantly muted down between all the grey responsibilities and mundanities.
In creating worlds in our combined imagination, somehow, we gradually build up a palace. Our special place.
The palace grew and changed. On days when our parents held shouting matches down the hall or Emma had been anxious at school, we would find the palace’s walls cracking. Fantastical creatures normally roaming the premises would seem sluggishly saddened, ever-present music having become an echo of melancholy.
We took out time, letting the feelings of the palace wash over us. But each time we proceeded to patch it up together, knowing the joy and vibrancy would return to those imaginary yet very real walls.
To this day, I hold that place dear.
Yesterday, I learned my sister’s book on building a safe haven within yourself and finding joys in life through it would be published.
I was overjoyed!
I’d love to know, dear reader, what does your palace look like?