Monday, 29 December 2008

The box that Ben built.

For Christmas this year, as we talked about, I was given all of the items I had discussed in a piece of writing that was a hasty, truthful drive-by entry that Ben took too immediately. He pointed out it was all me. Perfectly me. He actually came to me to compliment me on it a day or two after reading it. I filed his compliments away as his probable relief that I wasn't lamenting the state of my sorry life. He filed away the list of things I mentioned as Future Christmas. I never had a clue.

But it wasn't that he went and collected the things on the list, it was what he did with them.

He made a box. A big wooden box I cannot lift. It's filled with sand, golden coins and beaded necklaces. Shells. The mermaid statue is nestled in beside the tiara and the message in a glass bottle, complete with a tiny paper umbrella. The more I dig through the sand, the more treasures I find.

He painted the outside of the box in my favorite shade of sage green, weathering the corners and edges so it looks ancient. He carved my name into it. He affixed smooth river stones, more shells and black roses made of fabric to the outside. Driftwood handles. Sea glass.

It's so awesome. Every time I open it I feel like the most loved person on the face of the earth. Did I tell you I wore that tiara all day long on Christmas day?

Did I tell you Ben smiled all day long on Christmas day?

I love my box. Today I'm going to find a permanent place for it. It's like a whole lapful of beach, a secret getaway, an escape made by someone who loves me. You really have no idea what this means to me.

And so I'm going to stop trying to describe it and go look in it again.