#atinylife Friends that are Family

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,

tumbledown outbuildings.

 

Mature trees

look down fondly

from their great height upon

another generation

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.

 

Families FullSizeRender (26)

meshed.

Today, my children inhabit part of my history.

 

Today

my story and memories

will become

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.

 

After him,

I can almost see another figure.

A girl treads lightly,

the last full head of dandelion clock gripped gently in her hand.

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#atinylife Swimming²

Swimming again.

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?’

‘Yeah.’

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.FullSizeRender (27)

 

What would I know?

#atinylife Swimming

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 IMG_9009water, 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.)

 

#atinylife Holidays

Today I have been thinking about…holidays.

 

No flights

for these tinylifers

this year.

No hotels,

no carry-on suitcases.

No guaranteed sun.

No all-inclusive.

No twenty-four-hour shopping.

No unlimited broadband,

no Netflix.

No duty-free.

No nightlife. No crowds.

No avocados

(well, after two

bought in Lerwick).

 IMG_9010

Instead,

 the ferry took us

North.

We said yes to rain,

and wind,

and snatching each precious moment of sun as it arrived:

yes to sand.

We said yes to peaceful

wide wilds,

puffins and seals and ponies with foals and

trying to spot the otter.

 

We said yes to a different

pace of life,

to family,

to revisiting memories

of childhood.

 

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.