Isn’t this little cottage cute? I have no idea where it is. I found the picture through Google Images when I was searching for something and just thought it was so gorgeous!
Things have been quiet creatively speaking because life has been hectic. This will continue for another couple of weeks but I will try to post about anything creative that I manage to do during that time. In fact, this post is about that very thing.
This weekend is the Be Creative weekend, organised by Myfanwy Hart. Prompt 11 suggests that, if we are not taking part in either the postcard swap or the ATC (Artist’s Trading Card) swap, we should write about or draw a house. What follows below is my creation for this prompt.
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The day is dark and dreary and it’s not just due to the weather. Look at her… head bowed, shoulders hunched, defeated. She used to have such a spring in her step, always a smile on her face and a chirpy ‘hello’ for anyone she met. Sure to brighten anyone’s day, she was. Not now, though. She is barely able to lift her chin, let alone raise a smile. She looks as though she has no strength at all to stave off the effects of gravity pulling every part of her inexorably down – or, maybe, she doesn’t want to fight it: is happy to be drawn down and absorbed by the earth. Swallowed whole, only she’s not. Whole, that is.
I’ve seen sadness before: of course I have, but this… This sadness creeps into every nook, every cranny, turning everything grey, less defined, less formed, less… well, just less.
The family didn’t help. They just kept wearing her down. “It’s for the best, Mum.” “You know Dad wouldn’t have wanted you to mope.” “You have to move on, you can’t just live in the past.” But, why couldn’t she? Why did they expect her to fit in with what they wanted, what would make their lives easier? Didn’t they understand that she needed to be surrounded by the memories of their life together? The telltale signs of bringing up their family here: the notches made by the pencil when each child’s height was noted on the frame of the scullery door, the tiny chip from when the basin in the bathroom was damaged by a torpedo from her grandson’s submarine when Grandad was bathing him. And what about the apple trees in the garden? They had planted one after the birth of each of their children. Poor little Daniel’s tree growing taller and stronger than any of the others and bearing so much more fruit as if making up for the short life that he had. He was such a cheerful child. Do you know, I still hear him chuckling? His cheeky laugh tumbling down the stairs from his nursery and into the kitchen and her welcoming ears. Sad memories, happy memories. Who will listen to him now?
I will listen. I will keep him safe for you.
Who will understand why he is chuckling?
I will understand. I know why he chuckles.
Who will hold the memories?
I will hold the memories. They are part of me. They’re in the handle on the living room door, when it doesn’t go down quite far enough to open the door. They’re in the creak on the third stair which you used to listen out for when the children came home late at night so that you would know they were safe. They’re in that tiny hole in the wall right behind the Aga where the school’s mouse escaped into when it was Alastair’s turn to bring him home.
All of the memories are here with me now. I will keep them safe. Safe as houses. Ready for when you return to collect them on your last journey. The journey to meet him again.