”Mother, I’ll finish this later - I need to run out NOW to capture the bachelors buttons in the right light , before they begin to fade” . “Okay….have fun!” as I put down the dish towel and collecting the en plein aire painting things, ran out the door.
I admired them: the blue with shocks of black and white and green…romantic and lovely, they grew every year from the corner of the wall and bordered the property between ours and a neighbors. Nice! They grow in barren places easily and re-seed themselves if allowed to, so people think they are perennials, though they are annuals. I’d been watching these but school and chores often pre-empted my plans to paint them.
I smiled: I was in my early teens, so I thought of THE bachelors and one would be my handsome prince if I was reallly good ! I should not let it go by this time.
I laughed to myself, setting up for the painting, and tilted my head back smiling in anticipation of the pleasant task ahead - and - THERE he was! In my mind's eye like a photo not in perfect focus but nicely projected in the sky....just his head and shoulders and mostly his smiling eyes and great life and, most importantly, the love was there!
I shook my head and made the vision go away after a bit, and did my painting in a stunned emotional state, and then back indoors I thought to tell my Mother, but she might have sent me to the doctor: sane people do not have visions, I thought. But of course they do- and just do not admit to it. I knew I was sane and had just envisioned, so ….. Besides it felt holy, to treasure the moment to myself alone - and with the bachelor I had just seen in my mind’s eye…, so I let it be....kept in my heart.
After that I did not waver or wonder about my love of my life. That was HIM...right in every way. I was committed and prayed to stray on track , till we could truly meet.
After that day, everywhere I went I searched for him - I thought to spot that face...HIS face - the one I saw in the sky; the one that I knew I'd see for the rest of my life! I'd look up sometimes, in my social path, thinking I’d seen him…. but then drop my head ..NOT him NOT NOT. When oh whennnn?
Then four years later, I was invited to a dance by leaders of a group I was helping with my art. I’d dented the family car that week, and almost did not go - Dad said I must not let an fender-bender slow me down. Besides I’d committed to bringing three girlfriends to add to the options at the all boys school.
Dressed in my perfect Friday mixer ensemble and my perfect sixties shiny flip hairstyle, off we went.
The dance was grand and the fellows nice, but I kept sighing…NO NO NO ..NOT HIM HOT HIM, till I had to re-do my hair at the ladies room mirror and catch my breath. I was sad about Dad’s car and stressed out and annoyed with my own spirits, when I caught sight of a circle of girls at the dance, surrounding someone. I finally discovered him in the crush: It was the team’s basketball star that year - state high-scorer and only 5-foot-8 - short for a basketball player. It was such a moment! He was so clearly luxuriating in his BMOC status that I laughed in happiness for the first time since the accident, then turned back to the dance floor
....and there HE was....just like in the vision years ealier painting the Bachelor Buttons - and just like the one in the song...."a stranger across the crowded room". YES!
But the important part was that he was looking at me with the same “Eureka” I have found her! expression on his face. We danced and never stopped doing all the good things joyfully, till he passed away....on good days or bad, triumphs or disasters, that bond was a constant.
And though I made a complete grief recovery, when his sudden death, too young made me and our children clinical cases for shock for some time……….HE is with me, as needed to this day - protecting, inspiring and guiding me away from wrong directions in work and love. When I remarry , he'll be a silent kibitzer in the matter. His approval is important. Friends forever.
I am fine as can be because of the bachelors buttons that gave me a sign from the Angels of my Heart, or the Muse or whatever….one of those things one always respects.
I will have made and enjoyed some fancy gardens since those days - and will own another garden before I am too old...and plant some bachelor buttons for memory, to share in a painting again with our children.