A walk

To take a walk;

finding the importance – the value –

the value in that walk.

That moment you realise –

that moment you realise you can leave it all behind,

by simply putting one foot in front of the other.

A single walk filled with a thousand steps.

Or are they small, single steps that fill – that make a walk?

That make your walk.

I’ve been walking – slowly.

I’m pacing myself – it’s my pace – mine.

I place one before lifting the other, and so on…

I know I’ve got a sprint finish within me, but for now,

I’m enjoying the journey.

I’m enjoying my walk.

Measurements of the brave

It takes a brave soul to hold their ground.

To stay put.

To wait out the storms.

But also, a brave soul to test the water.

To be the first through the unknown door,

knowing they may never come back through it.

Or to return as they once were.

Yet, they go through it.

 

This is my voice

You ask me a question, but you don’t wait for my answer.

You think you hear me whenever I talk, but all that can be heard is you.

You take a rare breath and look at me as if to ask, Why don’t you say something?

But that brief pause proves too long.

For both of us, perhaps.

I open my mouth to speak, but you don’t even allow me to draw in air to muster up an Um…

Because it’s your turn to talk.  Again.

Because it’s my turn to listen.  Again.

And I listen.

Do you?

And I love to listen.

I do.

Do you?

If you want to talk, I’ll listen.

I will.

I do.

Do you?

I can see it – I hear it – the way you bend our ‘conversations’;

asking about me and mine,

without waiting to hear about me and mine,

before I find out and hear about you and yours.

I see it.

I hear it.

I listen.

Do you see it?

Do you hear it?

Do you listen?

Maybe my voice isn’t loud enough.

Maybe I need to talk over you.

Maybe I need to shout.

Maybe I need to shout over you.

Maybe I need to shout at you?

But that’s not me.

I don’t want that attention.

And I don’t want you to pry.

I don’t want you to pry into me and mine.

I just want you to listen.

Maybe this way, you’ll hear me.

This is my voice.

Do you hear me now?

Firsts and Lasts

It was their first summer.  It had been a year of firsts.  And like many of the firsts, this one too was coming to an end.

She spent the last weekend of summer camping beside the local lake, a place where she always found a much-needed sense of stillness.  A comfort.

Here, she watched parents proudly and nervously, either run alongside or close behind, as their child excitedly took to cycling for the first time. She knew it wouldn’t be long before she’d know exactly how those parents felt. Time was going by so fast…

“Come on, ladies!! One! Two! One! Two!” And hearing those encouraging calls from the water of the coach of the local cancer survivor Dragon Boat team practicing ahead of a big race, always left her standing on the lakeside edge in complete awe of them.

Witnessing the strength and utter determination of those women, of all ages, refuse to be beaten by anything, to work together and in undeniable sync, to accomplish a joint goal, was just… incredible.  To be that bold.  To have that courage.  To not waste time feeling sorry for yourself.  Inspiring.

“Keep going!” She heard herself shout out to them.  “Keep going!” she yelled again.

“Mamma! Ma”! her one-year-old impatiently squeals up to her, from his pushchair, wanting another taste of the sweet vanilla ice cream they were ‘sharing’, that was now mostly running down her arm.  “Here you go, baby. Just a little more, then that’s it. Then we’re going to get ready for bed, alright.”

Once her son was in his pyjamas, it didn’t take long – in fact, it never took him long to drift off to sleep. The pyjamas were a gift from a friend. They had a whale on, and Having a whale of a time! written above it. That line always made her smile.

Someday – someday soon, she plans to teach her son all about whales.  The Blue, the Orcas, Minke, and her favourite, the Humpback whale.  It’ll be another first for him.  She plans to teach her son about many things.

It hadn’t been easy this summer.  No – it had been stressful.  But looking down at the little boy in her arms, sleeping under the stars, it was – is – all worth it.  And she’d do it all again, in exactly the same way, if it meant to have moments like this.

 

 

 

 

 

The last place I saw you

You’re always there,

sitting on that hard, damp, wooden bench by the winter sea,

catching your breath with every gust sent your way.

Your strong, floral, old-fashioned perfume

swirling around,

surrounding us all.

 

You’re always there,

sitting on that white metal seat in the bright, bustling shopping centre,

watching people pass by,

noting anyone of interest,

always ready to recall,

when surrounded by us all.

 

You’re always there,

sitting in your red velvet armchair,

effortlessly completing a daily crossword,

concentrating on your regular TV programme,

and the precise timing of the roast dinner – currently in the oven,

while surrounded by us all.

 

But also,

you’re always there,

lying in that sterilised, impersonalised bed.

Helpless.  Frustrated.

Surrounded by us all.

Helpless.  Frustrated.

 

You’re always there,

even when you’re not –

sometimes,

even when you never really were.

 

You’re always there…

The calm before

Gentle,

at first.

A coolness,

with only the slightest…

   dip.

Perhaps unnoticeable to most?

Rustling –

playful sounds dancing up high.

Building in excitement.

Texture –

caressing,

then,

whipping.

Like unforgiving blades.

And the millions of wet hammers –

hammering.

Hitting their target.

Every time.

Punishing,

yet,

refreshing.

Aromas of water soaking thirsty surfaces,

lifting buried scents just waiting for this moment.

Dusty,

earthy,

sweetness.

Swiftly followed by a flush of heat.

Providing comfort –

a warmth within.

While surrounded,

by the wild outside.