Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Thousand Words

september 28 2008

See photo here.

It was like I was waiting for my grandmother entering my dreams, so we could walk the winding road into the park together again.

The leaves of autumn softly sliding like a veil trying to rest on my being.

I've seen the gardener pass by, cutting the branches and hedges like mathematic figures. He always took his time, whistling to the birds.. and they answered.
When the schools went out the young boys used to race on their bicycles and lean aside to take the winding road as if it was a roller coaster. The gardener had to step aside, and when young boys from another era passed him on their skeelers and skateboards he had to do the same.

Now he's old and doesn't garden anymore.
His footsteps sound through the trees even when I can't see him, his tired breathing merges with the wind.

It's many years ago now.
Life has sharpened it's claws on my daily life, and memories are embedded in my brains forever.

I used to hate autumn and it's falling leaves.
The black-brown stems and branches of the trees used to be the giant's arms reaching for me in the dark.
Only the shoulder of a dear friend and sweet kisses could deal with fear and melt me like the springmornings and the little birds hopping from branch to branch.

I'm wiser now, kinder for fall maybe.
I've learned myself to see the sun through the golden leaves, and sense the fairies above my head and in the grass.
The leaves I used to take home to burry them in a heavy book are no longer forgotten.
I've found some nice red and yellow ones, and I will dry them with more patience and care.

Maybe I'm a bit more of a gardener now.
The mosaic of the seasons has become more interesting. I'm allowing the sounds and smells to be bigger than I am. I'm not important anymore.
I could be a tree now, and be patient. Waiting for the sun to reach me, and the red evening skies.

Silence again.

My grandmother used to enjoy the leaves on the winding road.
It was a time people allowed nature to take over.

I ran in front of her, with a little bag for all the acorns I could find. Each one was a miracle, a precious gift.
Sometimes we would sit down at home and make little men and horses. Most could only stand on three legs, because the matches would never fit precisely.
Later I put them in a bowl, to remember me of the abundance of the harvest and of the promiss of new life ahead.
My children enjoyed the trees showing their heads above the grond, and we measured the growth each spring, like nature can be put in graphics and numbers.

Acorns and chestnuts.
The white plums meant they were ripe and we would peal them and eat them, drinking hot chocolate with the doors to the garden wide open.
We had a chestnut in our pocket all year long, against rheumatism and bad luck.
When I was angry I used to rub it against my trousers so long that it got really hot and I would feel the warmth on my skin. But I would never ever rub it as well as one of the boys at school. He burned Nelly on her leg with a chestnut so bad that she screamed and the teachers ran out, forgetting their coffee and cake. She had a red spot on het leg, that slowly became a blister.
Her mother was furious and the boy wasn't seen at school for three days, and the priest preached about the fact that bullying was against the will of God.
He spoke so fiercefully that one of the little children started to cry and her mother needed to take her up and leave the church.
Even the angels on the alter seemed to look down on us with darker eyes.
I was as young that I thought that maybe that was the reason they were replaced by a curtain when the church was modernised.
Now I'm older I wish the angels stood their again, so people would be more aware of who they are in the face of the power of God.

Gram and I used to sing, and I remember the day we went up the hill and entered the ruins of the castle.
Part of it used to be a chapel, and even though only half of it was still upright, the serenity of the touch of eternity was still around.
She started to sing "Ave Maria" and I joined her with my thin young soprano, almost afraid to touch the wind.
We overlooked the river and forgot we were not alone on this earth.
People sat down in the grass and listened carefully, leaning back so the sun could warm their faces and their being could spread out and fill the world.

Gram looked at me and I saw the blue of the sky in her eyes and her smile reaching out.
It was such a pure moment of happiness. We belonged to each other and we belonged to this earth, like the birds and the flowers, and everything else.

The chapel is still there, and so is my smile when I walk there with my girls, humming "Ave Maria" and other songs.
They love to look over the river and hear the stories of a time gone by.
Written history from books and stories that will pass from generation to generation.
My gram handed them to me, and I pass them to my girls.

I´ve told them about my gram when she was young, and her other took her walking down the winding road of the park. Mainly on sunday afternoons, when the work was done and the churchbell didn´t call the people from afar.
She used to pick flowers at places where it´s forbidden now, and she danced at the same places where I used to dance and where my girls express the freedom found under these trees.

When I sit here I feel like waiting.
Sometimes it´s as if I hear the voices of all the generations that passed by.
Children singing, boys racing, and gram and I.




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3 comments:

  1. Very touching Laane, you can send this to some magazine :) Perfect for the Red Letter Note of RED mag.

    Yeah autumn is here. Late yesterday afternoon, I can't stop myself from crying while walking on the way and then I realized what my aunt told me the people here are starting to get a little depressed during this time of the year. It's my second autumn.

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  2. What a relaxing story. Very nice!

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