An envisioning . . .1960 and the old villa up on the Øresund coast in June.

Oh to be there.

Denmark for the summer and a treasure it is. Home in a way that the other house isn’t. The children all thinking it is and agreeing but not inside. An outside thing like a winter coat instead of a grown-up lady version of the tutu skirts the ballet dancers wear to dance.

No, Canada if you marry a Canadian gentleman and a family home but a home of the heart, no. Butter cookies that don ‘t taste as good and no Baltic smells.

Fishing boats though that are almost the same. Sometimes being able to squeeze your eyes shut and pretend. Back you go, patterns swirling against the sun and around again like one of those kaleidoscope toys. Canada, France after the first war and Ireland after the second.

But different. The other houses not the same with different echoes. Impossible. So different that even one’s favorite grandchild doesn’t want to quite believe.

The tsar coming and his mother each summer to her house at Hvidøre. Imperial children running everywhere and hide and seek along the beach behind the rocks. Father only a baron but no children living close and getting to play with them anyway. Grand duchesses the girls were called, but the doll tea parties were just the same.

Gone for a long time and in a horrid way but no one knowing then.  . . .No. . . holiday bare feet and time to run . . . run fast enough, and maybe it can all be made to change . . . .but a memory . . .safe forever where nothing can hurt. . .

Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden with her children. Photograph ca. 1900-1910.
Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden with her children. Photograph ca. 1900-1910. In the public domain due to age.via.

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