The bell rang for recess and the children bustled out of the classroom, leaving me with some peace and quiet, and a mess of watercolours, textas, and butchers paper to tidy. It was then that an otherwise ordinary day was made extraordinary by her arrival.
‘Hi, my name is Sue, Sue Blackmore. We need to talk.’
I couldn’t do much more than nod, my nervous excitement making my eyes fix in a stare, a blink too much to muster in the moment, with all my energy consumed by trembling hands and the array of thoughts her visit sprung on me. Continue reading →
As much as she hated needles, Lynne was game for another dose, high spirited for 9 in the morning because Frank was home doing the vacuuming and once their respective chores were complete, they’d join the Senior Spartans on their monthly lunch outing. With the cold infusion slow dripping like a hipster’s coffee- into the orifice forged by the nurse’s ‘… little sting’- there was nothing to do but look around the room, make small talk with the nurse and other patient, or- as was mainly the case- look down at her gnarled hands, driftwood garnished with the ring Frank had given her 55 years earlier- hands that had changed Noel and Fiona’s nappies, held a glass to toast each child’s wedding, cooked countless shepherd’s pies- now too set in their ways to do as Lynne instructs. No way they’d hold the arm of the hoover much less a tennis racket these days, at least not long enough to raise much dust. Continue reading →
I tip toed through the field, not knowing if there were tiny creatures underfoot, like chickens, rabbits, or even my cat. Maybe the Jains have a point. The higher vantage made me appreciate that life is still life no matter how small or seemingly invisible. I had the tractor in hand. It looked just as a toy vehicle should in my palm; even the weight seemed to feel about right. It didn’t take many paces to get to the gate at the edge of the forest that had given away just how out of wack my world was. That same gate that my grandmother and I had unlatched and walked through countless times when I was barely as tall as the highest post- we’d look for fairies and magic dragons. The posts now looked like matchsticks lined up in those promotional books of matches you don’t see much of nowadays. Of course I couldn’t fit through the gate. I paused right there, peering down at the forest and wishing to reverse the magic my grandma had made me believe.
The paint crackled and warped, and the wheels were on the verge of exploding as the Matchbox® tractor shot up to full size. Doubting what I had witnessed, I reached out to touch the imposing machine; hot to touch, moments after contact I felt a tingle and smelt something reminiscent of burning hair before I too began to grow and grow. With our scale restored, doubt crept back in, in the absence of some landmark to confirm it as dream or reality, until I shifted my gaze and noticed the ankle height hedge of old growth forest.
Story inspired bySonya’s Three Line Tale Week Twenty-Four. I had a moment while drafting this where I asked myself what the point of it (writing and sharing a story here) is, in light of events of the past 24 hours. Is it frivolous and pointless and shallow? Not to say that in the last 24 hours (let alone the last 40 billion years) there have not been other tragedies, large or small, but I am sure you know exactly what atrocity I am talking about. My conclusion? No, it is not pointless because in sharing something, anything here and connecting with people in even a very small way, it can make a difference to one, two or maybe many more lives- it is in the comments, in the encouragements and in the sharing that we have one of many reminders in our day about our shared humanity, a chance to understand that we are not alone in our life struggles, that others also have their own world of problems but also hopes and dreams and needs and desires. The community here is a very tangible way of creating world peace- I am so glad to be a part of a beautiful world here on WordPress – a microcosm of what is possible, if we let it happen, in the wider world.
Postscript: okay, 40 Billion is a lot. I missed the mark by about 34.5 billion years in terms of the age of the world and I was way off when considering the couple of hundred thousand years humans like us have been around, not to mention the much shorter period of ‘civilisation’ (6000 years). But this isn’t about numbers, is it?