Thoughts on time spent with family in a childhood haunt.
What happens when time forgets itself?
When you are suspended, and all around you grows still, but the little voices echo clear as the sweetest bell in memories ear, and suddenly the lines are blurred and it no longer matters if you are the child or the child is yours?
What happens when you realise it may just be a mirror you are looking through, and the woman is no longer your mother, but you?
And the sigh that escapes your grateful mouth is caught on the stories that you now long to tell for nothing more than the reward of expanding their world a little more, and the secret pleasure of seeing their eyes seeing you anew.
And in all of this there are things that your heart beats to the time of:
the clamour of those dearest of voices, the flurry of so many with so much to share.
The cautious exploration and testing of unfamiliar waters, at times tentative, and sometimes explosive. And you stand back willingly as they find their own little pathways in this place you have brought them, as they forge new routes on their maps.
The deep thinking of the solo sailor as he searches for his true course, touching base now and then to share his quiet, self-conscious laughter and hesitant purpose, so painfully familiar to you as though it were your own again.
And the chance to just pause and lie still and close your eyes and listen to the wind in the trees and the murmur of voices and to have nowhere to be.
And so you walk when you feel like it, meandering together with no purpose other than to be in one another's company, along pathways that are held somewhere in your collective memory, and through trees that have born witness to many histories.
And somewhere in the gathering is the still point, the quiet place that holds everything you all remember.
Photo by My Only Girl, age 12.And though it is just another moment in time, you are standing together, choosing the bright new threads to add to this weave you are part of, your tiny part of this family history that goes back into the mists of time, each thread an essential thread, strong and full of purpose, and each one equally as vital as the next.
And you take your little child by the hand, show him how it is this story is woven together with many hands and hearts.
And somewhere along the way you let them go, knowing their map overlaps with yours, knowing their threads are firmly caught. You let them go, a little at a time, in the certainty that those threads will never break. And that someday they will hold out their hand, and a child will ask to hear their story, will ask to know their place in it all.
For isn't this is the reason you came here? I see it so clearly now.
Time forgets itself so you can tighten all the knots.