Intrepid librarian and all-around amazing woman, Paulette, showed me this book tonight. Let me just say that it is a jewel of a book, although you can't really tell from its unprepossessing cover. I don't want this to turn into a book review, although I could definitely rave about this book, and I will be ordering a copy for myself as soon as my little fingers can hit the "Order with 1-click" button. However, it did inspire me to change the topic of this post, so now I present "If I were . . . "
If I were a blanket, I would wrap you up in warmth and downy softness. I would be your place to relax, snuggle, recuperate, and drift into restful sleep. I would snuggle your tiny babies and keep your children warm when they wake shivering from a bad dream and wrap your grandfather in warmth when he feels a chill in his bones. I would remind you most poignantly of the tender hugs your mother gave you, even when you didn't feel like you deserved any tenderness. And I would live to remind your children of your hugs when you can no longer hug them yourself.
If I were a chair, I would be a snuggly, cozy rocker. I would beckon you to me, to sit and cuddle . . . maybe with a good book, or a sweetheart, or a luscious armful of a precious baby. I would provide just the right place for you to ease into a new morning gently and slowly, maybe with a steaming cup of coffee or a cuppa tea; to take a breather in the midst of the madness of a hectic day so you can keep on going; to rest after a long, bone-wearying week of work -- whatever comfort you need, I would provide.
If I were a tree, I would be strong, sturdy, and graceful. My roots would run deep, deep into the ground, reaching down and out, anchoring me into the soil. The rough shingles of my bark would display the initials of you and your love forever intertwined with a lopsided heart. I would stretch out my leafy branches, curving ever-so-slightly toward the sun, so I could provide quiet, restful shade for you. I would watch over you almost silently (just a soft little murmur of the wind through my leaves to lull you into peacefulness) while you drowse on the soft, green grass beneath my limbs. I would have just the right place for a treehouse that can become a pirate ship, a castle full of knights, a spaceship guarding against intergalactic invaders, whatever can be dreamed. I would be the anchor for a tire swing that flies back and forth, around and around, to the melody of the delighted squeals of your children and your children's children.
If I were a smile, I would be unguarded, clear and bright, a reflection of what I see when I look at you. I would warm your soul even on a cold-that-seeps-into-your-bones kind of day. In the broiling heat of summer, I would be the fresh breeze you yearn for, sweeping over your skin with a light, cool touch. I would awaken the sleeping beauty within you, and you would favor me with your own smile of infinite light.
If I were a house, I would stand stalwart, brave, unyielding in the face of lashing winds, torrential rains, bitter heat, and freezing temperatures. I would safeguard within my walls all you hold dear. My rooms would echo with the laughter of your children and wrap them in peaceful security as they slept. My doorsills would mark off the years as your children grew; faded pencil lines attesting to the unyielding passage of time. My kitchen would capture and hold the snapshot images of family and friends gathered around the table, the dear faces of those you love never completely fading from memory. The pores of my walls would soak in the days and nights of your life, absorbing all that you are and all that you hope to become. If I were a house, I would be your home.