Monday, 5 November 2012

Lightness of Being

I feel more light-hearted today. 

Unexpectedly, someone has sincerely apologized for treating me in a way which wasn’t at all nice.  It was more business than personal, but it was distressing nevertheless, and the promise of peace between us has lightened my load.  Reconciliation is a beautiful thing.

It reminds me of a wee episode in my yet to be published manuscript Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues.  And while retaining full copyright, I’d like to share an abridged section here…


I’m lying by the pool; this time with lots of sunscreen. 
After a day walking in Firenze I’m relaxed and comfortable to do little.  My recliner is set back from the water’s edge, on a slope to maximize the stunning Tuscan view, and while sinking into the reality of the novel I am reading, I’m surrounded by the sound of water splashing and children playing… 

After a while my eyes drift back to the pool, and in a moment I am struck by the freedom and wildness of being a child. 

A little French boy, no more than two years old, is running along the pool’s edge naked.  I’ve got my eye on him because I’m concerned he may tumble in.  Hot on his heels is another small boy, perhaps a year older, dressed ready to swim with floaties gripping his upper arms.  The smaller boy is carrying a silver soup ladle, apparently delighted with himself for having taken it from his brother.   When he arrives at the corner gate - the one leading into the olive grove and down to my cottage - he looks at the bigger boy and provocatively drops the ladle through the fence to the dirt below.  The older boy stops, looks at the ‘toy’ out of reach, and then leaning right over the little one, opens his mouth wide into a long, loud and indignant scream.  He doesn’t attempt to retrieve the ladle, or make any kind of assault on the younger boy.  He simply wants his displeasure known. 

I smile to see his mouth as wide as Luna Park, the little one just watching, not reacting, as if he’s heard it all before.  Eventually the adults and other children get sick of the noise and come to the rescue - the toddlers simply staring into the dirt like it is territory they dare not venture.  Well, until the moment their mother opens and closes the gate to retrieve the ladle, after which they only want to go down there and have to be repeatedly restrained. 

Ah, ‘the other’ you see… wanting what you can’t have starts early.  

The silly little incident amuses me, for it captures something about the delightfully unfettered nature of childhood.  Imagine if we did that in the office when a work colleague did something to cheese us off?  Hmm, interesting food for thought... 

The best part of the story is that the children are now going back to play after the clash, with no hard feelings and barely recollection.  Little children travel light.  That’s why they do play. 

And I realize my pleasure is in watching that wonderful lightness of being.