Rain

I love the rain. The sound of it hitting the street below and splashing as cars pass by. It’s inspirational in its own right. There’s something very calming and therapeutic about rain. Like a million tears running down windows, witnessed by many a lost soul. It changes things, the smell in the air, the mood of a teenager sat watching it pour down the windows, the excitement of a child who gets to go jump in the puddles, it sums up the feelings, when there are no words to explain them.

She walks in the rain, it pelts at her skin, blends in with her tears and soothes her. She has no knowledge of how far she has come or how long she has been gone. Head down, the streets all blend into one. Car horns sound around her and she jumps as the sound invades her mind. From the moment she turned that corner, she was alone, only aware of her thoughts. The reason for leaving has gone now, it’s back there where she left it. The path she’s taking is a familiar one, she has walked it time and again. The brain is not capable of thinking more than one thought at a time, although she does not believe the truth of that statement when the thoughts running in and out of her make no sense or reason. She never feels alone here, there are always eyes upon her. She’s aware of them, always aware but never acknowledges them. She feels content in the rain, she can feel it now, beating down on her face, cleansing away the sins of her past. She’s gone past the place of comfort, the loving arms who’ll hold her. Turning and continuing on, to the place that will haunt her. It hasn’t changed through the years, the images are all the same. This is the place, sheltered by the trees, droplets seep through the leaves. Slowly, but surely, her conscious comes back to her. She has not known how long she’s been gone, nor how far she had walked.

 

 

 

I wrote this when I was (approximately) 12 years old. I just found it by happy accident and wanted to share it. I had thought it had been forever lost to me. 

March is Here

I had not been prepared for March – February seemed to fly by!

For March I have landed on the idea of meditating and giving up bacon (just for the one month).

This is a hardship already. I am struggling so very much to meditate. I find that the breathing exercises remind me way too much of the days where I had to fight with my body to do just that. The days of being right on the edge of a panic attack with no other way back but to either find fight or flight.

I have now thrown the deep breathing out of the window and just started having 10 minutes of quiet time. No phone, no laptop, no devices of any sort… just quiet and stillness. This is much easier for me to accomplish and doesn’t feel as traumatic as reliving horrible memories.

Giving up bacon, however, is awful. I eat way too much of it, more than is likely healthy and I am already missing not having it in my fridge. I remind myself that it is only for 1 month – hardly anything in the grand scheme of things!

Hero

 

Here he stands, now
Tall as he can be, a hand gripping mine

My eyes water as the band starts marching to the Last Post,
His back straightens, head raised

I see him, as he was then
My mind’s eye has him standing there in uniform, medals glinting in the winter sun

That he fought for us,
That he has lost so much, makes my heart hurt

The pride I feel just from standing in his shadow is immense,
My hero.

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One Day

You always told me, “One day…”
Trying in vain to prepare me for these days.

In the early days, I notice your hat is still there – I make a mental note to ask if I can keep it,
But then in the blink of an eye – it is gone.

I take your collection of ties without waiting for a better time,
Folding them up neatly in a bag.

I think of the sadness in your eyes whenever you spoke of a family who was long since gone,
Always preparing me for, “One day…”

I never expected ‘one day’ would feel like this,
Never imagined I would understand so accurately that sadness I saw within you.

Weeks later, we are standing outside our house,
We are all here, waiting.

Liz announces the arrival of the hearse with a deafening, “He’s here.”
Nic and I lose composure, eyes dropping immediately to our feet.

I sit in the funeral car, with your daughters – the magnitude of that moment hits hard,
I am the only grandchild in the car and I wonder, does that not speak volumes?

The house is empty,
I am showing prospective buyers around.

They want to change everything – strip it bare and start anew,
I want to drag them out but instead, I just remove myself.

“One day, I won’t be here anymore. You’ll be telling your grandchildren about me like I am telling you about mine.”

 

This is Tradition

…and in the darkness, stood a Christmas tree. The lights from each branch reflected in the eyes of those gathered. The evening was still and calm, and as more people approached, a lull met the atmosphere. The voices of children rose as they gained their confidence. Teachers stood by their side, encouraging, coaching, arms conducting as they moved their arms in time with the words coming from the younger generation…

“It was on a starry night, when the hills were bright
Earth lay sleeping, sleeping calm and still.
Then in a cattle shed, in a manger bed
a boy was born, king of all the world.”

Families with torches shining down on the lyrics in their hands, paper blowing in the wind. Proud fathers and grandfathers with thick scarfs and gloves, ensuring the rest of the family are able to see. Leaning close together, gathering warmth. Smiles bright as they watch and listen to their choir…

“And all the angels sang for him,
the bells of heaven rang for him
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

The community together as one. This is tradition, of gathering and coming together, surrounded by the ones who light up their lives. Voices that are now louder and more vivid reach the end of their performance…

“Soon the shepherds came that way where the baby lay
and were kneeling, kneeling by his side.
And their hearts believed again for the peace of men,
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

And as their voices sing the last note, there is music. The live band of local musicians begin to play the next carol. Every member of the community joins in joyfully.

This is tradition.

Trees

It is 1998, the house is warm – it smells like homemade pastries. Across the room, a family is gathered.
2 ft tall, green branches reach out.
“Do you want to place these chocolates on, sweetheart?” She asks with a soft smile.
They sit on the floor giving careful consideration of what gets placed where.

It is 2000, the house is happy – four friends sit together laughing. A knock on the door and a child joins them.
5 ft tall, green branches face the room.
“My mum says she can’t make it, the rabbit is sick.”  He tells the tree.
Confused looks are exchanged between friends, bafflement that will continue for many years.

It is 2017, the house is cosy – a family enjoy the peace. Love and laughter in their eyes as they observe their boy.
2 ft tall, green branches mock the cat.
“Don’t you dare!” She says, swooping him up with a ‘boop’ on the nose.
Content purrs surround the quiet room.

It is 2018, the house is silent.
5 ft tall, fibre optic lights brighten the room.

 

 

…But Not Too Much

I decided I need to treat this place as though it is home because that is exactly what it is now. For the last couple of weeks, I have walked around and ventured to different areas without much thought.

At home, I used to go out for a Pepsi, sit and relax and enjoy the calmness.
At home, I used to go out for a Pepsi and sit and people watch.

This is home for me now and I have settled better than I had ever expected myself to – my first time living away from my family home and my family is not as frightening as expected.

I need to treat this place as though it is home… but not too much. Home is where I got sick, where I failed constantly to try and recover and repair myself. Home is a place where I lost too many things, too many people. Home is full of memories that I cannot escape from – people I cannot escape from.

Now it is time to start living like I want to. In the present.

Time to start living how I always have done. With strength.

Time to start moving.

Time to find Costa…

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