Delaware! Oh, what grand resolutions did swirl in the living air as I stepped to the jetty and breathed the fresh aroma of seasalt and pansies, bread and fish. What reminders of my new beginnings and urges to start afresh did strike me as I strode forward, new feeling and new awareness in the muscles of my legs! Yes, what relief of that abandonment of my dark dead past did crowd my mind as I turned to look back at the ocean – a great blue water dividing me from my sorrows! How the memories ceased to ache – those precious images of two girls, dark-eyed and dear to me – no, they glowed with the happy warmth of distant loves.
The sky was smiling, the hedges green, the sands winking, and golden brown and white were the rural-looking buildings of Delaware State. Colours so dull with winter gloom, but so very vibrant with winter frost. The greyness was gone – the dark stones and sharp corners and crying skies of Douitchurch and England were gone – an uncomely memory, a lost sight, to be left behind forever, unremembered till the end of time, when grave Douitchurch would flood and burn in anguish and torment – and in the place of those stones and corners and skies was the merry morning of America.
Christmas was approaching, the festivities begun already; tall trees of deep green – that lovely deep green which smells of pine needles and gingerbread and candles and all things of Christmas. How we do adore the spritely lights and fairy bells, the cheery excitement and family fun – that sense of togetherness we all covet and crave, however little we realise it.
The new house was wide and airy, quaint but modern, and, for the first time, it was a home. I felt that the moment I stepped across the threshold into the smooth parquet-floored hall. And I have felt it since. My parents share a bedroom again, and the kitchen is new and creamy. My room is fresh and cosy, and clean and sympathetic, rather than passive and miserable and utterly immersed in vanity, as my room in the house at the end of the street in Douitchurch had the habit of being.
Yes, how I came to realise in those first few weeks how much it had been my fault that my old bedroom held such a forlorn and prideful atmosphere. My attitude had made it so. I was passive and miserable and utterly immersed in vanity. What else could I have been? Why did I have to make a hash of everything for the sake of my own depression and my own denied desires? Deanna Macpherson could not teach me that when I was with her – there had been too little time, and I had been unwilling to learn all she could teach me about myself, my past, my present, my future.
But away from her, I saw everything she had cared about, everything she had done, to make herself happy in the tragedy of her life. Her beloved little sister died, after years of cheerful illness and Pollyanna-like optimism, adorable in such a small girl making the best of all. I had not known her; but I knew this; so much was my enlightenment as I came gradually back to life in Delaware, USA.