The Weekend Theme over at Sidie’s Blog is one simple (but to me) very magical word: Bubbles. I took a little trip into fantasy fiction this week, I hope you enjoy.
I have a secret. Most people don’t know this, but bubbles contain real magic. No, I’m not just talking about the visible magic of swirling colors that you can see, or the ability to ride away on invisible breezes. That’s just the nature of bubbles, not really magic.
What I am talking about is real, honest to goodness magic. The kind that takes you by surprise and whisks you away to the unexpected before you even know it happened.
Don’t believe me? I am living proof, because I have spent my life with bubble magic. I was once a normal girl like you, spending days with my family and playing silly girl games. Until one summer day, long, long ago when I discovered the secret of bubble magic, and my life has never been the same.
“There’s no bubble magic,” you scoff. “There’s no secret.”
If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself lost in the land of bubbles. And once you’ve been there, your life will change forever.
Have you ever looked into a bubble? I’m sure you have. You’ve seen the swirling colors moving around the perfect sphere until Pop! The bubble disappears with a tiny splash.
But, if you look deeper into a perfect bubble, so deep that you can’t see anything but that bubble, you might be one of the lucky few who see the truth. The shifting colors are not just blobs of color, but windows into another world filled with tiny towns, magical beings, mystical forces, grim castles, and dangerous creatures. Bubbles are the windows and doors to lands most people only find through books and imagination. Bubbles connect here from there, but only for crossing over isn’t without its risks, and only a few people ever discover the truth.
Or maybe I’m the only one.
It happened long, long ago. The summer sun sizzled and my brother, sister, and I couldn’t get motivated to do anything but complain about the heat. Mom didn’t want us wandering down to the swimming hole because our aunt and her family would be coming at some point that day, and Mom didn’t want to have to hunt us down. She made us help get the house ready, which didn’t help our moods as we cleaned in the heat. By 2:00, there was still no sign of our cousins, and Mom had thrown us out of the house, tired of our whining and complaining. Still we weren’t allowed to wander far. We each tried to find a cool place in the shade of the porch or by fanning ourselves with handmade paper fans, but the sun was slowly wilting our spirits into submission.
Then Mom, who I think felt a little guilty for keeping us trapped in an oven, brought out a special treat. Well, two special treats, an ice-cold pitcher of lemonade and a big basin filled with bubble juice. She showed us how to capture the liquid in rings she had made for us out of twigs, and fill the sky with bubbles.
I loved every single bubble.
Eventually, however, my brother and sister couldn’t take the heat anymore, and decided to take some lemonade into our tree house and read while they waited for our cousins.
I kept playing with the bubbles. The ever-changing colors inside the bubbles fascinated me. I felt like they hid secrets that I would understand if I could just make a bubble that would last longer, or a bigger more beautiful bubble. I set about experimenting with ways to create bigger and better bubbles.
Thus began my bubble obsession. My cousins eventually arrived, but I didn’t care. I spent their entire visit of two weeks experimenting with new ways to make bubbles. New tools for bubble rings. Different ways to make bubble mix. I was determined to make the biggest most beautiful bubble ever.
To both my joy and sadness, I succeeded.
Twilight had set in, and all the other kids were running around trying to capture fireflies and place them in tightly lidded jars with holes in the top. We only kept them for an hour and watched their beautiful semaphore before releasing them back into the world to find their mates. As much as I loved chasing fireflies, I didn’t join in, focusing on my bubble experiments.
I had formed a giant ring by patiently weaving together reeds that I had gathered from where they grew by the swimming whole. It had taken several days to complete, but I was sure it would create the world’s best bubble.
I dipped it into the thickest, soapiest, most colorful bubble concoction I had yet created. Raised it carefully, and then took a few running steps so the air would fill the bubble juice and make the bubble grow. It grew. A bubble the size of me. A bubble with every color of the rainbow, and some I couldn’t name. A bubble that contained what looked to me like tiny houses and tiny people in a world that mirrored my own, except that it had richer brighter colors than the tired colors that came from a summer filled with more heat than rain.
The bubble seemed to twinkle and glow, pulsing with energy. Then, in a surprising move, it didn’t float away on the slight breeze like all the others, but floated toward me. It did not pop on contact but enveloped me. Suddenly I found myself inside the bubble, looking out on the world I knew. That world wavered as the bubble rose, and the interior world of the bubble became more solid seeming, carrying with it a lilting song of the inhabitants of that bubble world, including birdsong more sweet than any I’d ever heard, the chatter of many voices, and the movement of people and animals I’d never met before.
As you can expect, I was very excited to have found my way into the bubble world. However, there is one thing I wish I had known that I didn’t find out until a few magical moments later. Before you decide to find your own way into this magical land, you need to know the truth. The only way in and out of the land is through the perfect bubble, and that gateway only lasts until the bubble goes POP!
If you want to return to the land of your home, you must find your way to another perfect bubble, made by another person who sees more in the joy of bubbles than rainbows . . . and that person is hard to find.
Are you the person to make a bubble for me so that I can come home?