Phileas and Phoebe – Hour Eight

On a summer evening, I gathered a raincoat and jars in which to catch frogs
Steam from my breath, out in the humid air, helped me to uncover a great mystery
As I breathed, I noticed moisture accumulating on a foreign object in the dirt
Nestled within the tomatoes, about an inch or two beneath the surface, I found a bottle, stuck between a couple of rocks
I used my elbow to push the bottle to the surface, forcing the rocks out the way. As I looked inside, I noticed the bottle contained a note. Upon examining further, the note was clearly composed by children, even if of age. It was a confession.

“It is 1942…” The letter began. “We, Phileas Ford and Phoebe Galewitz, our love peculating in anticipation for the future, hide this bottle in case we are found. You see, I, Phileas, am German. Phoebe is a Jew. It is too dangerous for us to be as one here. If you find this bottle, chances are, we have either been caught and killed or we have escaped, free to love one another someplace else. We just wanted someone to hear our story, to know that we lived and loved each other very much. Thank you and be blessed.”

I sat in awe of their strength and my freedom. We live in a world of prejudices still, so much said about love and those still, to this day, being judged for whom they choose to love when all we are asked in this world is to love and be loved. In 2021, there are still so many prejudices among races, genders, religions, etc. They existed both then and now. And to think of this, I feel sad. For as long as time has gone on and for as far as society has come, there’s still so far to go.

I can only hope Phileas and Phoebe’s love brought them strength, regardless of their outcome, because in the end, love truly is all we have and all we can take with us when we leave this earth. Maybe one day, everyone will be free to live however and love whomever they choose. I can only pray that will happen but wonder how many more bottles buried in the dirt will it take?

One thought on “Phileas and Phoebe – Hour Eight

  1. What a beautiful, thoughtful and moving story – not only capturing the magic of a bottle unearthed, but also uncovering the story of these two people who simply long to be acknowledged and known. Behind the lists of statistics are so many individual human stories of love, loss and tragedy. This beautiful piece of writing brings that strongly home.

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