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Life off the Page: Someday-Never

So in the midst of reading Beowulf and falling in love with Anglo-Saxon poetry again, I started thinking about one particular castle I’ve wanted to visit and how awesome it would be to shout the Old English opening into the space.

Ignoring, of course, that at the moment I can’t travel anywhere.

But that doesn’t actually bother me. I wouldn’t be going right now anyway, so this just gives me another thing to add to my growing pile of someday-nevers.

To explain a term from my personal vocabulary: Someday-never (n). A thing which you are fully eager to do but have no specific date in mind for doing it. Akin to daydreams for a rainy day. Must be special to the individual imagining/planning. Common examples include going to Paris, having a picnic, falling in love, publishing a book, or getting ice cream from an old-fashioned parlor you’ve driven past sixty times. Not to be confused with conventional daydreams, bucket list, or procrastination.

The benefit of someday-nevers is that you’re equally certain you’re going to do them and that when you’re going to do them is not now. In other words, you have all the time in the world to plan out your perfect adventure down to the smallest detail.

So my adventure?

Step 1: Road Trip. I love road trips. The beautiful thing about them is that while you’re crammed in a small space with people you (at least moderately) like, laughing and talking and singing and telling each other to shut up so we don’t miss the exit, throwing each other snacks, missing the exit and winding up somewhere entirely unexpected…chances are you’ll find something you never anticipated.

Hence Lindsborg. Kansas.

Yes, you read that right. The castle I want to visit isn’t in Wales or France or some other fabulously exotic place. It’s in Kansas.

Step 2: Kansas. I stumbled into Lindsborg on a family road trip about three years ago, heading somewhere else, stopping there on the way–and finding myself in Little Sweden, filled to the rim with Dala horses, nerdy Nordic T-shirts, old houses, and on one lone hill, Coronado Heights Park and a castle.

Made off with a nice pendant myself.

Before you get too excited…the castle isn’t actually from the 1540s. It was built in the 1930s, near where Francisco Vasquez de Coronado came hunting for gold.

It’s still awesome.

The first time I went inside, I noticed the echo. The whole thing’s built of stone, with wooden posts here and there. It was as if I could already hear someone chanting over a mandolin, see the fireplace lighting up the room at night.

Which leads us to the Someday-never.

Since the time we left, I’ve been plotting a way to get back there with my violin. Deciding who I could drag along for the trip–because let’s be honest here, you can’t give a recital in a medieval-style castle and not have some equally nerdy friends along to hear the product.

Step 3: My perfect version:

Arrive about twilight. The castle is open to the public until 11:00 p.m. Pile out of the car. Breathe in some early autumn air. Hike up the hill, watch the sun finish setting from the roof. Light a real fire, hang a few lanterns or candles until the place comes to life. All of us would be in Ren faire garb, of course. And then the music. Fiddle tunes, Beowulf, old ballads–there’s a comic poem “Gae up and Bar the Door” that would fit in easily, and it always makes me grin. Maybe a dance.

Perhaps we’d have a feast on the tables inside. Perhaps we’d make ourselves think that we’d slipped back in time. Or perhaps we’d do something better. Perhaps we’d step into a world of our own creation. The sort of place anything can happen, because we’ve gotten this far already. Because the impossible is not really all that far away.

In the meantime?

I climbed a tree barefoot yesterday. Just because I felt like it. Rediscovered the Silmarillion fandom online and realized how much I need to read that book a second time. Watched it rain.

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