Here is another excerpt from early in my book while I'm at the Salvation Army Orphanage - some of the better years of my childhood. This chapter is called, "The Hiding Place."
At the orphanage when I was five years old, Miss Julie took me down to the playroom.
She walked me over to a box sitting in the middle of a large room in the basement.
Running over, I stopped in front of it.
"Lift the lid," Miss Julie said.
Lifting the lid, I saw my name.
Someone had designed the inside of the box.
I saw hearts and flowers.
Seeing my own name filled me with happiness.
With pleasure I saw my initials
The box was big, and I was tiny.
I could climb inside.
The toy box became my hiding place.
Inside I would place notes I wrote to my brother
Drawing hearts all over them
One day I would give them to Freddie
My box of dreams
I would hide in the box
And close the lid over me
Darkness enveloped me
Noises became dulled
I did not mind that
I was there with Freddie
I would talk to him
I would share my secrets
I would fall asleep
Miss Julie would know where to find me
I would hear her tap on the lid
I would push it open
And climb back out
Every girl at the orphanage had one
On wintry days we girls would climb
Into our boxes
Popping our heads up and down
We sang to each other lustily
Breaking out into giggles
Often, we would sing
Sunday School songs
They will shine in their beauty
Bright gems for His crown"
Miss Julie told us we were the precious jewels
We loved the song.
In the dark years to come I would need many hiding places
However, that toy box
Was the safest hiding place for me.
(Outside the Gate, June Smith)
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