Nanny’s Orchard, by Dace Micāne Zālīte

Zelma, the girl – dreamer, 3rd grader, then 8th grader, finally an adult.

Nanny – starts becoming blind.

Tin Master – her husband, died many years ago.

The small old wooden cottage with apple orchard

Scene one

Zelma: Nanny! May I play with your old coins? I love them!

(Nanny walks from kitchen)

Nanny: Still snowing and my birch tree logs are dwindling, melting like snow. This spring I will still see the blossoming apple orchard planted by my husband, Tin Master. While traveling as a Tin Master he collected these coins from all over the World – old times.

(Gives the jar to Zelma)

Zelma: (Places coins on the table). A Tsar Nicholas ruble, Chinese coins, a Danish Queen. I feel that each one of them brings some essence from far away.

(Nanny goes into the kitchen. We can hear gentle sounds and smell chicken soup boiling on a wood-burning stove).

(Zelma stands near the window)

Sometimes I fell I live in a different time and my thoughts, dreams bring me over the rainbow…over the clouds of Latvia’s long and cold winters.

After 5 years

Scene 2

The same room

Zelma: (rushes in from school) Nanny, I am here!

Nanny: (sits by window) Zelma, I heard your steps in the garden. Your gait today is joyful.

Zelma: Nanny, spring, spring is everywhere! Yes, the orchard is in bloom! All white!

Nanny: Here are scissors – my beloved husband crafted them. He was such a tool master!

(Zelma places a blanket on Nanny’s shoulders and starts to cut her gray hair)

Zelma: O.K. Not too short, like Judy Garland.

Nanny: As you see fit.

Zelma: (jokinly) The haircut will cost all the money you have.

Nanny: (jokes back) That antique money jar, which you loved to play as a child while I babysat you. Back  then we had talks, such precious talks about life.

Zelma: Yes.

Nanny: The money by itself has no value, it becomes powerful when it is in human hands. It can heel, help, feed one, make someone happy. It comes and goes. The gold that we call love remains – how much you can give from your heart. Do you feel other peoples’ pain, do you feel orphan’s cry when he is lonely?

The sparkle of joy is planted in your heart and when you grow it will grow with you.

Zelma: Where will you be when I grow up?

Nanny: (smiles) Near you, like this orchard.

Scene 3

Zelma, an adult, sits by the window in Nanny’s living room.

Zelma: Years gone and I have experienced so much for what I longed for in my childhood.

I wrote my books and plays, still have my friends, my actors. I can say: “My dreams came true”.

(Song: “Over the Rainbow” on stage a blossoming apple orchard. Nanny and Tin Master enter dancing)

Zelma: Nanny, can you see me?

(Song continues and Zelma joins in by dancing with them. White apple blossoms drop like sakura petals from above).

Dace Micāne Zālīte, LATVIA – playwrite, poet, stage director, Master of Philology. Lived several years in the USA. Studied at the Yale School of Drama as a Research Fellow. Devotes her works and ideas for the young generation artistic and creative thinking in patterns of life, Nature and Art.