This New Beginning by Dale L

Word Count – 704

In response to the 2022 Lancer Writer’s Journey Challenge

It is so green; the grass. So very different from where I grew up.

During the journey here, my husband had told me all about his rancho. I had begun to believe he was exaggerating but now I can see that he did not. If anything, his words did not do it justice.

I can only judge by what I know. From a distance I have seen some of the grand estancias of my homeland but this too can be such a place.

And it will be. As grand as any in Mexico. A house filled with beautiful things; silver and crystal and china for the table, paintings on the walls and rugs on the floor and servants to care for them. Silk dresses and bejeweled combs for my hair for when we entertain my husband’s friends and colleagues. Fine carriages with matching teams like those I remember as a child passing through our village. Grandioso hacendados who were both feared and respected.

From our vantage point at the crest of a hill my husband points out the pastures, the stream which nourishes not only the grass but feeds the large pond and, in the distance, the glistening white hacienda. His hand gestures toward a modest size herd of cows, the pride in his voice unmistakable as he speaks of his plans for the future. Our future. Of purchasing that piece of land to the south he has had his eye on, of acquiring the services of a new seed bull, of hiring more vaqueros and repairing more of small houses clustered near the barns for the married men, of building new line shacks; all the things that go into running such a large rancho.

And one that did not.

That of bringing his young son home from Boston.

My hand caresses my gently swelling belly which is concealed beneath the shawl I wear. He had given me that indulgent look he has when I told him it was a son I carried. He assured me a daughter would be as welcome. But all men want a son and my husband is no different. And I know, I know it will be a hijo.

And it is mi hijo, our son, who should inherit. Let the abuelo keep the child of my gringa predecessor. He already has a position and an inheritance as the son of his abuleo’s only child. And he will be a stranger while my son will be a true Californio. A descendant of those who came seeking their fortunes while theirs sat behind desks with their ink pots and account books. Brave men, daring men who tamed a new world. And my son will be one of them, a son worthy of a great patron.

I come out of my musings with a start when my husband touches my shoulder and inquires as to my health. I assure him I am well, only a little fatigued from the journey. The springboard wagon has managed the rutted road well, my trunk and his valise well secured in the back. While not exactly comfortable, it is far better than the stagecoach.

One of his men, a Paul O’Brien, has ridden ahead to let those in the house know of our imminent arrival. A bath and a chance to rest await us.

The road winds like a brown ribbon around the bend and down the hill. The view is breath-taking. That all of this belongs to one man! Will one day belong to our son.

I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with the air of California, drinking in the hopes and dreams and promise of this new life. This new beginning. I turn to my husband and give his arm a gentle squeeze. I am rewarded by his smile, his free hand covering mine.

It is then I make a silent vow. I am impulsive, yes but what is life if not to be lived? No more second thoughts. No regrets. No looking back only forward to our future together.

My husband takes the reins in both hands and whistles to the horses. They move out, following the road and taking us home.

End
January 2022
Journey/ Trip Challenge

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8 thoughts on “This New Beginning by Dale L

  1. Thank you for sharing this story with us. So much is said in a few words. If only Maria could have been content. 🥲

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    1. Debra, Hi. I’m glad you enjoyed my take on Maria’s arrival at Lancer. It is sad she could not be happy. While Murdoch probably boasted on all he had already accomplished she must have realized more was to be done. Perhaps she just convinced herself otherwise. Thanks for reading I really appreciate it.

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  2. So that’s why she left. You did a great job allowing us to crawl around in Maria’s mind and contemplate the early thoughts, seeds that must have grown out of control until she ran away, taking Johnny with her. Good writing! I enjoyed reading this story.

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    1. Hi, Sherry. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. Maria had grand ideas of what life would be like and when it didn’t live up to her expectations she left. Plus, evidently thoughts of Scotts arrival, a threat not only to her son but her, was icing on the cake so to speak. Thanks for reading!

      Dale

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Rita. You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you liked this look at Maria’s thoughts arriving at Lancer. Thanks for letting me know, its much appreciated.

      Dale

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  3. Good insight into Maria’s thoughts as she arrives at Lancer, and a very good reason why she left. I understand that in Mexico the eldest son inherited, whilst any others got nothing (rather like the British nobility). If only Murdoch had told her that both sons would share the ranch.

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    1. Hi, Tina. So glad you enjoyed the story. I do feel her experience with the patrimony of Mexico did play into it, that and her insecurity when it came to Catherine and Scott in general. It probably never occurred to Murdoch that Maria feared their son would be left with nothing. Thanks for reading!

      Dale

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