As Sir White Beard and the Gang gently steer the plane to rest on the back porch of the stuffy house, there is complete and utter silence. It has been almost 30 years since Sir White Beard has seen Lady Grey. He is unsure of the condition of her heart, he knows that his own is nigh to breaking.
The investigators hear Deanna proclaim how strangely wonderful it is to be back on this porch she detested just weeks ago. Lynn grabs tight onto Grant, her excitement to see Lady Grey is exploding from her as Lilly whispers “Lynn just wait, Sir White Beard and Lady Grey need to speak first.”
Everyone holds their breath has Sir White Beard climbs from the plane, the Gang following his lead. They stand straighter than ever before as they await the confrontation. It seems like forever passes before Sir White Beard and Lady Grey are standing close together.
And then the Investigators, the Gang, and Mr. Peacock all wait for Sir White Beard to say the first thing, to explain, to apologize, to something! But before he can say anything, Lady Grey cries out,“Oh Sir White Beard, my dear friend, I am so sorry to have given you up! Please forgive me. If I had gone with you, if I had loved you more than myself…these 30 years would have been spent together.”
Sir White Beard shakes his head in awe, “But Lady Grey, I gave you up. I didn’t return! I had planned to, but 10 years were spent captured in a crated prison, 10 more years spent exploring because I couldn’t give up my dream, and the last 10 spent fighting my regret, my betrayal to you, and my broken promises. I was captured again, before I met your wonderful friends. They gave me the courage to come back here.”
The investigators wait for Lady Grey to cry in anger or crumble in disappointment. Sir White Beard has just admitted his heart and it, indeed, is not without faults. But she doesn’t. The hurt flashes through her eyes, the sense of betrayal is there, but then love, compassion, and her own regret take the place of the emotions we all have assumed her to express.
She says, “We are both at fault, Sir White Beard. I am not concerned with how you have failed me, for I have failed you. In lacking the courage to follow you, in choosing to love myself more than you, in staying behind when I well knew that you were only just out of reach. All I had to do was come to you. It is not your wrongdoing that has consumed me all these years, but my own! I love you now more than I ever did before, and perhaps for the first time in my life, I truly love you.”
Sir White Beard and Lady Grey exchange forgiveness, erasing years of pain, Sir White Beard throws his arms around Lady Grey, quite denying his old years, and then he kisses her the sweetest kiss they had ever known together.
And the Gang exclaims, “EWWWW! And turns their backs, because kids can only take so much of that love stuff before turning the other way. Lynn laughs to see them all so happy, Deanna whispers, “I will remember this forever”, Grant crosses his arms in contemplation, and Lilly says nothing, but the look of determination on her face provides enough proof that she has learned something from today.
Sir White Beard leads Lady Grey to the Gang and Mr. Peacock. He introduces her to Mr. Peacock right before the Gang surrounds her in great big hugs an exclamations of Adventure. Lady Grey bubbles with joy.
Then she looks to the pink plane, asking Sir White Beard about how well it flies, and all the many adventures he’s flown it to.
Then, she says something that shocks everyone. Sir White Beard’s mouth falls open as he hears her say, “Sir White Beard, do you think you could fly me up high so we could go on an Adventure together? Do you suppose we could take the Gang with us? Take me to your favorite place!”
Sir White Beard nods his head in disbelief and manages a stuttered y-y-yy-ees. And then he recovers and adds, “As long as we can come back to this stuffy house, and let those little kiddos play with us and slobber on us. As long as we can come back home.”
Lady Grey laughs out a yes, and hugs Sir White Beard again! Deanna exclaims, “Are we sure we want to go up to the blue skies of Adventure with them?! They might hug too much or maybe kiss!” She smiles, and the Gang agrees that it’s worth the risk. Mr. Peacock leas the way to the plane, shocking the investigators again at his obvious excitement for Adventure that used to only be fear.
So they fly to an Adventure. Lady Grey has given up her fear. And then just as Sir White Beard promised, they return home again. And he gives up his need to see everything, to be someone great. And the Gang gives up their bitterness of being slobbered on, as the little kids from the stuffy house on a mountain enjoy their company.
Every day, they have to give up something, and so they have learned to give up the right things even when it’s hard, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Did you miss previous installments? Just click on the link you missed!
Subscribe or like the Facebook page, because I’m really excited about the next few weeks here Down Cottonwood Lane!