MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “childhood”

Nature’s magic

©MCD

When Grandpa got up with the rising sun, he did not expect that the front door wouldn’t open. Neither the back. He knew it was going to be a difficult day. But for some, it would be exactly the opposite.

He tip-toed into Jenny’s room and gently shook her to waken her from dreamland. She half-opened her eyes and stretched every inch of her small body.

Good morning, Grandpa,” she whispered.

There’s a surprise outside your window,” he smiled.

She jumped out of bed and looked outside.

Everything was white. An impeccable white blanket had covered everything as far as she could see. It was snowing all night and it continued to do so now. They were snowed in.

Grandpa was concerned because they were somewhat isolated in the village and their resources were scarce. He was planning to go into town today, had the weather permitted it. But few things in life usually go according to plan.

Jenny was excited; she was jumping up and down and rushing to put on warm clothes in order to run outside. It was freezing, but enthusiasm always keeps you warm.

Come on Grandpa, let’s go build a snowman!” she called as she tried to open the door.

The old man used a shovel, back-aching and almost sweating in the sub-zero temperatures, striving to open the door.

When he succeeded the little girl ran outside and dived into the snow.

Grandpa smiled.

There wasn’t much he could do anyway. He just had to wait for assistance. So they might as well have some fun in the meantime.

Snow beautifies everything. It is nature’s magic that fills your soul with wonder.

Childish excitement

https://www.soester-weihnachtsmarkt.de/uploads/tx_wsflexslider/3_07.jpg

This was her favourite time of year. Not because of the festive holiday season and the magic that spread everywhere, but because she loved the feeling of snuggling up somewhere warm with a hot beverage and good company.

He shared the feeling. Because it reminded him of how wonderful it was to feel like a child again. To be excited with the little things, to play without caring what others thought, and to rekindle his lust for life.

She brought that out in him. She made him happy.

And he made her forget everything that bothered her. He turned her negative obsessions to positive aspirations.

That night of a new moon, he took her hand and led her to a Christmas market. There were jingles in the air, the smell of roasting chestnuts, happy cheers and lots and lots of bright lights.

And in the midst of it all was that magical place.

A carousel.

He helped her onto a plastic almost life-size horse and his eyes sparkled as he saw her smile lighting up her entire face. Her eyes were two diamonds in the night. And he knew he was simply lucky to be there.

It is the people who rekindle that feeling of being a child who are most deserved to be loved by you. Because they remind you of that lost innocence and of that bewilderment at every single thing in life. Witness things as a miracle and you have found happiness.

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” – Roald Dahl

Nature’s work

sandras-shells

© Sandra Crook

Look at the pretty seashells and corals over here”. The little girl approached the so-called “Nature Table” barely tall enough to look over it. She stared at the natural sponge, the hardened corals and the various sized- and shaped- seashells. She looked perplexed.

Under the water they look more alive”.

The museum guide suddenly felt helpless for words.

Well,” he began, desperately trying to say something positive.

Water is their natural habitat. But out here, we can observe them better, right?

Strange,” the little girl said.

Despite the waves and the water pressure look how pretty and strong they are”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk past, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

Mystery Eggs

https://www.preparedpantryblog.com/the-best-way-to-color-easter-eggs/It appeared suddenly when he was a child. Ever since he could remember, it was present. Every Easter Sunday, it would leave two Easter eggs by his bed, resulting in that he would always awake with enthusiasm that morning and a smile that rejuvenated his entire existence. As he got older, he tried to uncover who the Easter Bunny – or maybe Duck, or whatever other animal it may have been – was. But it was not easy. It wasn’t his parents. Nor his grandparents. So who was it? No matter how much he stalked and staked out or tried to stay awake, he would fail in finding out who the mystery Easter-deliver came from.

It was an exhilarating and at the same time exciting tradition.

When it was his turn to become a parent, the eggs didn’t stop coming. They just switched destination and now appeared at his children’s bedsides.

He never found out who the source was; but he certainly cherished the fact that it revived in him a sense of gratitude and desire to do more for his fellow citizens who may not be as lucky as he. Easter, after all, was a time to cherish that we’re alive and to be grateful; to resurrect the life we hide inside and to gather the strength to carry on.

A perennial embrace

tree-sandra-crook

©Sandra Crook

The last time she had been there she had climbed up its branches and hidden among its leaves, hoping the world would pass her by. As a young girl, she would always seek refuge there. The huge tree seemed sturdy enough to offer her the security she lacked at home. She would run away and hide there; but she would soon be found and had to return.

Until the moment she simply ran away from the town itself.

Now, years later, that tree was the only fond memory she had of her childhood. The only thing that offered her comfort.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The load we carry

https://userscontent2.emaze.com/images/4669297c-d643-4dda-ac3f-b8c0aff979b2/67f85e5251c50b6c1e5307c671be83f1.pngTry to relax”. The voice was hoarse yet soothing. It had the tone of wisdom possessed by a mature person struck by many misfortunes in life. It was only fitting the Dr Hasbland would become a psychiatrist. He had been through so much – loss of loved persons, divorces, legal battles, evictions, foul play. He had seen a lot and experienced so much more than what his patients recounted.

Sergio was a special case. He went through extreme mood swings. The type where he could burst into anger and be tempted to light everything up in flames so as to cause as much destruction as possible, or where he would sit silently hidden from the world, pondering the vanity of it all as he could not contain the tears running from his eyes. It was a type of bipolar disorder, but only so much worse. Dr Hasbland had witnessed it first-hand in his office.

“Focus on one spot. Do you see the whirlwind? Look into that and try to free your mind. Forget everything that is bothering you and try not to think about anything for now. Relax”.

They had tried a lot of counselling and recommendations, but none of it seemed to work. It would only minimise the frequency of the mood swings, not their essence.

Hypnosis was the last resort. Dr Hasbland was certain this bipolar-ism was a consequence of a childhood trauma.

And he was right.

Because in the hypnosis, Sergio awakened a beast. One that remembered how he was mistreated as a child but blackmailed into not saying anything ever, and how that ordeal stayed with him, scarring his very psyche and causing him to become so extremely paranoid at times. He had to say it out loud, all that he had been through, so he could release his soul of the burden he was carrying for so long.

When he awoke, Sergio remembered nothing. But he felt lighter. In some way relieved. The mood swings soon disappeared and he managed to take on a different approach to life. One more positive, where he would see the brightness of things and not the bad that could come from them. It is the things we carry with us that cause the most damage in the end.

The benefits of expecting nothing

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/271/19556344430_40ee1d3f10_b.jpgSurprises are beautiful because they come without waiting for them. Without expecting them to happen. And that often augments that wonderful feeling of euphoria that overwhelms you when you realise that sometimes what you are looking for comes when you’re not looking at all.

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us” (Ashley Montagu).

It is like when we were children and out of the blue received small presents, simply for acing a test, or because there was a toy on offer, or because we hadn’t seen a particular relative for some time. Remember how excited you got then? From those little drops of unexpected happiness that got you active for hours, if not days?

There is a saying that happiness sneaks in through a door that you did not even know was open.

From impromptu decisions you may take, which may later affect your life in greater ways than you may have ever imagined. In simply allowing yourself to take a chance and try something different. In living every day as it comes, fully and deeply.

Sometimes it is indeed better not to expect things to happen. Because it’s better to feel surprised than disappointed. And in the end, it is the unexpected that changes our lives.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Childhood

Swinging high, risking much

SwingWhen Pacey was a little boy, he feared two things – marshmallows and swings. There is a saying that you usually fear what you don’t understand. And with Pacey this was exactly the case. He couldn’t understand how marshmallows were made to be so white and so soft, and more than anything so addictive. He just could not get it into his head that this “treat” was considered a global favourite. So he preferred to stay away. As for swings. That was a whole different story. Because every time he sat on one he kept looking up, but not at the sky like most kids his age did while swinging high; no, Pacey kept looking at the hinges holding the swing in place. He was afraid that at any moment, the swing would unhinge from its bars and it would throw Pacey crashing to the ground. And he was afraid.

His parents tried to convince him that he was missing out on the fun things of life by avoiding these two things. But Pacey would not change his mind. Kids can be stubborn. Even more than adults usually are.

Pacey’s father even told him a story about how swings were created in order to draw out the fear from the human soul. He said that if as a child you could dominate a swing, if you could experience that feeling of flying, and if you would constantly want to swing harder, to fly higher, then as an adult you would know how to be ruthless, and how to go after what you wanted; you would know how to take risks and cease the opportunities that come your way.

It did not convince Pacey.

He barely sat on a swing during his entire childhood. And whenever he passed by the park and saw all those kids lining up to sit on one, he would shake his head and simply move on.

Even as an adult, he could not understand children’s addiction to these simple (yet, “unsafe”) objects. He could not even understand his own daughter’s obsession with them. Whenever she ran and sat on one, his sight was constantly glued on the hinges.

His wife would laugh at him. She told him that he needed to relax. To stop living his life in so much fear. Falling off a swing was as random as falling off a ladder, as tripping on a pavement, as pretty much anything as could happen.

When he heard his daughter’s pure, heartfelt laughter whenever she was swinging over his head, calling out that she would catch the birds, that is when he began to understand the meaning of these swings. It all became clear, when his daughter came up to him and explained why she loved them so much: “because swings liberate you. They make you feel like you can fly. Like you are invincible. And if I can’t let go and feel that now, then when am I going to do it? You adults are so uptight!

Between a couch and a wild place

The leather couch used to squeak whenever he would slide down onto it. It didn’t anymore. You could even feel the small dent in the middle caused by all those people it had accommodated over the years. He could proudly or shamefully (it depends how you saw it) proclaim that he had grown up right there on that brown leather couch. In that down town office that was as modern as could be, with white walls that were repainted every five years and modern, funky furniture that invited the waiting patients and offered the illusion that they would take their troubles away.

Relax”.

That was the first word he heard every time he sat on that couch. It was Mr. Waterman’s job, though, to say so. He needed his patients calm so that they could pour out their soul to him during the next hour and he could attempt to provide some solution, consolation or advice to their problems. And these were many and varied. But over the years he had heard a lot. Just not from one particular patient. This one had proven to be an especially difficult case.

Brandon would simply refuse to speak out, to tell the professional sitting across him what troubled his mind, what made his heart ache, where his eyes wandered when he stared at the horizon out of the window. Whatever the exhortations or appeals Mr Waterman would use, discreetly or not, Brandon did not want to speak. He simply sufficed to say that he had nothing to say. Mr Waterman even tried to entice him with milkshakes and chocolate, but that didn’t work even when he was a young child, let alone now.

After around twenty years of therapy, Brandon still had nothing to say. Yet, he was as confused and tormented inside as he had always been. A storm was still brewing inside of him. It was just silent to the outer world.

Brandon was a child that kept to himself. He became quite the introvert as a young man, although he loved to socialize and go out with friends. But when he returned home, he liked to stay in his room doing his own thing, whatever that was – reading a book, listening to music, surfing the web. And just like he disturbed no one, he himself did not like to be disturbed. His upper class parents believed he was a troubled child. They described him as “emotionally unavailable” and “awkward” and pleaded Mr Waterman to “fix him”. So Brandon grew up in the office of a shrink. Only none of them knew about it.

Mr Waterman watched Brandon grow from a quiet boy into an unsuccessful rebel, into an elegant and well-educated young man. From the few things Brandon had uttered in his office, the professional understood that the boy felt misunderstood, that no one could comprehend what he felt or thought and that is why he preferred to stay silent. So the hours were spent talking about culture, the news, and well, anything other than himself. The latest thing that made Brandon’s eyes gleam with excitement was a photo book of the most amazing places in the world that should be visited. The first-page inscription –a quote by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for” – was what mostly inspired his heart to sing. But Mr Waterman knew that the storm would finally break out; he could see it the young man’s eyes, his gaze was looking further than meets the eye. It was obvious that he was in search of something out there that was not immediately visible.

And the storm arrived.

It came in the form of a hand-written letter and a tidied-up room.

I run because I no longer want to hide.
Because there is so much more out there to explore.
Because I want to move on with my life and do something substantial.
Because I feel I cannot reach my true potential if I
am locked down here, without facing any real challenges or the endless possibilities that seem to be out there.
Because I want to be somewhere where people know me for me and not because of who I know.
Because I want to be heard without needing to yell and fight.
Because I want to rediscover the joy of Fridays and looking forward to the weekend.
Because I want to live and see places and not just hear about them from other people’s past experiences.
Because I want to find a house that is mine from the start, that I decorate and organise to fit my needs.
Because it is part of growing up and independence is a powerful thing to have.
Because I don’t want to waste time anymore, waiting.
Because I want to finally find and taste at least one happy ending.
I run because I am not running. I simply want to live.

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