My children run under the spreading tree,
rich with the fruit of swings.
Disappear for hours on end,
cousins and new friends and dogs romp
around rich grass,
look down fondly
from their great height upon
of wet footprints on their forest floor.
I look out of the window,
feel time loosening its grip.
An ending line
curves into a circle.
Today, my children inhabit part of my history.
my story and memories
their story, their memories.
A house, a garden, a cocooned day:
as children, as adults.
Across the lawn,
straggled out in age order,
the three year old last in his yellow wellies.
I can almost see another figure.
A girl treads lightly,
the last full head of dandelion clock gripped gently in her hand.
Two boys drag each other, by the leg, into the shallows. Back and forth: chasing, splashing.
It doesn’t look any fun. Being dragged by your leg in water, with your head mostly in the water. Are they breathing enough? Are they encouraged to be violent with each other?
Did they argue earlier, has the ‘game’ turned nasty?
However, is it really any of my concern? I decide to leave them to it.
Later, there they are again. Still dragging.
‘Are you still playing that game?’
I don’t get it. So I ask: a leading question, but I inject some sarcasm, just in case, as I suspect…
‘Is it, like, the best game ever?’
‘Yes. It is the BEST game ever.’
They grin, one grabs the other by the leg, and off they go.
What would I know?
Today I have been thinking about … swimming.
Euch, swimming. A necessary evil in the holidays, outstripped only by requests for Minecraft, or for me to finally relent and download Pokemon Go.
‘But swimming, really?’ I ask. ‘It’s such a lovely day.’
I am informed that lovely days don’t have flumes in them. Not yet. So off we go. I stand out of the water, wearing less than I would ever voluntarily clothe myself in. My teeth chatter in time with the anxiety ringing in my ears as they whoosh down the flumes. Then another ten minutes of queuing. Fun, right?
The worry lessens after the third go. I find some tinyspace and float peacefully. The heavy weightlessness buoys me up and away to a pleasant dreamland.
I love the post-swim clean feeling too. (I know, I know, it’s just chlorine.)
Today I have been thinking about…holidays.
for these tinylifers
no carry-on suitcases.
No guaranteed sun.
No twenty-four-hour shopping.
No unlimited broadband,
No nightlife. No crowds.
(well, after two
bought in Lerwick).
the ferry took us
We said yes to rain,
and snatching each precious moment of sun as it arrived:
yes to sand.
We said yes to peaceful
puffins and seals and ponies with foals and
trying to spot the otter.
We said yes to a different
pace of life,
to revisiting memories
We said yes to bannocks,
homemade oatcakes and
scallops scooped out of the
sea that morning.
We said yes to a break
from the in-tray,
the writing deadline,
and the laundry basket.