Wish Are Like ..
The heat of the afternoon bore down on Wren, seeping through her skin, down to her bones and casting away all veiled shadows. Utter bliss! Her skirt, the same color as the lavender field stretching before her, flutters around her ankles. She has been dreaming of this moment for four years - since the day she married Devlin.
It was that tragic, yet fateful, moment in Boston, where Wren saw a man in distress over the loss of both his parents, which gave her the love of her life. In a small act of kindness, she changed her world and it will never be the same again. This French Provencal lavender field, surrounded by the heady purple spikes is just as she had pictured it. She inhales and the scent sets her heart alive. The fields, aglow, seem to stretch to what feels like the edge of the world. Between the illuminating beauty and the intense fragrance, she feels compelled to create, but it is hard to focus. One gets lost in the space.
Suddenly arms slip around her waist, startling her a bit. Devlin leans down and murmurs through her golden curls. “Well, my dear wife, it makes our lavender patch seem pretty paltry.” She spins around, reaching up, to kiss the tip of his nose. “Our field is not paltry! It's … just … lacking … compared to this,” and she sweeps her arm across the violescent view before them.
“Now that I am here, I can see you are perfectly right. We need to plow up another field,” and he winks.
“Plus it is a reason to go to the ocean and gather more oyster shells.”
Devlin groans, but with a smile lurking in the corner of his lips. “Oh, no, not more oyster shells!”
“But they are so good for the plants. Since we have milder weather in Massachusetts the shells protect the roots. And, they reflect light back onto the plants.”
He pulls her into his embrace. “Anything to make you smile like that Wren. Anything!” and he kisses her, lingering for a while.
She spins back to face the fields, feeling even more dizzy and leans her head against his chest for support. “Although,” she sighs, “somehow, the lavender seems much more. I do not know …!”
“Oh I can see your brain running. I am sure when we get home you will create a lavender field even more stunning than here in Provence.”
“Do you know why I love Devlin Bay? Well, besides the fact that you have such a big heart and a kind soul. Oh, and, are also breathtakingly handsome!”
“All that, ha!”
She runs her hand through his long, dark hair. “You put up with all my harebrained ideas. I think I would drive most men crazy.”
“Oh, you drive men crazy, but not for the reason you think.” And he leans in for another kiss. They are on their honeymoon after all, although they were married four years ago. “Are you happy Wren? I mean is this the honeymoon you dreamed of? It is four years late. I just want you to be happy.”
Her eyes sparkle. “I am with you and that is all I need to be happy, but yes, this is the honeymoon I dreamed of and I think the timing is perfect. Mimi would not have been ready to come back to her home four years ago. Actually, I am glad she did not come back until after the war. It was hard enough in Boston to read about it all - to worry about you, her family, her country. No the timing is right. Even Aunt Sophia said so. Just like when Auntie met Mimi that day at the fruit sellers stall and she became our cook.”
“I would call her your surrogate grandmother.”
“Well, yes, she is that. I just mean it was meant to be. Auntie and I needed her, and she needed us. The timing was right, as it is now.”
Devlin walks over to an olive tree, holding Wren’s hand and sits down in the shade. She sits next to him, enjoying the cool bark against her back.
“Do you know what Mimi told me on the ship coming here, Wren? Why she is ready to come back to France?”
Wren lifts her long curls off the back of her neck, enjoying the breeze across her shoulders. “I am glad we are able to escort Mimi back to her home. All my childhood, sitting at the kitchen table listening to her tell me stories about Provence and her father‘s vineyard while we cooked. Now we get to see it. Frêne Vineyard* is just as I pictured it. I am so glad her nephew, Pierre, was able to buy back the vineyard. It should be with its family. Just like Bay Farm is our family legacy, Frêne is Mimi’s family's.” Wren says this with a sad look in her eyes.
"She told me that it was seeing our love and devotion to each other that reminded her of Benard. We reminded her of her happy marriage, She said when he died all she could see at the time was her loss. Everything made her think of Benard and France. That is why she had to move to America. The pain was too much, but we reminded her of all they had. It makes me happy that maybe this visit to her family's vineyard will help fill those holes in her heart."
They do not say any more and just rest against the tree. Holding hands they take in the view, the scents, trying to be in the moment. Wren is determined to hold her wishes gently.
*(pronounced fren, which means ash tree)