I’m not homesick, exactly. Homesick is more like that time I went to Nature’s Classroom and missed Dad’s grilled cheese.*
And, I don’t know if there ARE any good towers to explore around here. The ancient wooden fire tower at West Lake is no Hogarts’ Astronomy Tower. I would love to climb that steep spiral staircase, pull on the iron ring-handled door leading out onto the crenellated ramparts, the parapet and all that. But that’s in a book. This is life.
What if I treat “unexplored tower” as a metaphor—a message about something else?
My mind wanders to Harry Potter and how sad I was when I finished the series…
All of a sudden it seems like a big hand–a Dad-size hand–is on my back, nudging me. I straighten up and start to talk out loud.
Or maybe it’s that I’m HEARTSICK. Not HOMESICK. Hmmm. HEARTSICK for Mom and Dad.
The words “unexplored tower” still puzzle me, but I’ve always thought of puzzles as a kind of pump. Mimi has a pump in her little catfish pond. It’s got a photovoltaic panel that uses the energy from the sun to run its motor, so it can squirt the pond water up into a fountain. (Besides getting good air into the water, it makes rainbows too.)
So. I’m pumped. And I’m catching the sunlight. Energized.
I find a t-shirt and jeans. I pull on my socks.
An Unexplored Tower could be anything I explore, or find out about. Or do.
I tie my sneakers tight, so I won’t trip on the laces.
It could be like a quest or a job. It doesn’t have to be a real tower.
I go back to the first lace and double-knot it.
I know exactly what my quest will be.
Revenge. I will seek vengeance on the guy who killed Mom and Dad.
I double-knot the other lace and stamp my foot back to the floor. I do a mental inventory. Hey, this is good. I can’t feel determined AND heartsick at the same time. I’ve found a “tower” to explore! I race downstairs, but stumble on the last step when I wonder if Dad would agree with my cure for heartsickness.
Well, he isn’t here now, and I do. I do agree with myself, that is.
* See my comment in the comment-reply section for Dad’s recipe for grilled cheese. It was Pop’s originally, so he was able to pull it out of his recipe box when I asked about it today.