MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “childhood”

Farm escapes

©Brenda Cox

The weekends at the farm used to be a drag as a child. She saw them as a chore; one she was forced to do, and often had to be bribed simply to get into the car and go there. Plus, the bumpy drive there was a nightmare for her stomach. But she nonchalantly endured it all.

What she would realise much later on, was how lucky she was to have these weekends in the first place. A countryside to escape to, and grandparents to spoil her.

It was only when she grew up that she would acknowledge their value.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Treasure troves of magic

©Ted Strutz

It’s a place of magic. There are so many different worlds to travel to. So many personalities to impersonate. Here, you could be anything, anyone, at anytime, anywhere.

Libraries, she was taught, “are more than just a storage place for books, they are treasure troves filled with creativity and knowledge. And that knowledge can be empowering(R.L Hemlock).

Libraries open windows to the world, inspire us to explore and achieve more, to contribute to improving the world, and thus change it for the better.

They are parts of life’s necessities, reminding us simultaneously of the excitement of being a kid.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The magic seashell

©MCD

They were healing. Those long walks on the beach. Particularly when there was no one else around. Those hours of the day when the water was calm. There was something soothing in that feeling of warm sand under your feet and among your toes.

Since she was a child, Addison also loved to collect seashells along the water. It was something she learnt to do with her dad and a memory she cherished dearly.

But as she grew up, she found increasingly fewer seashells on the beach.

This was a day though when this changed.

There were abundant seashells along the waterline. All pretty in their own way, regardless of size.

But there was one that captured her gaze from afar. It was shinier than the rest, with bright rigged lines. It was beautiful in all its glory.

The moment she picked it up, she felt a blur and an instant pull. She blinked and realized she was on another beach somewhere even more mesmerizing than before. Someone was calling her name and she felt her heart skip a beat. She felt happy without knowing why. He was coming toward her and she could feel herself smile widely.

It may be a dream, or reality with a delay; it may take a magic seashell or simply perseverance; but whatever it is, life finds a way of compensating us for every hardship.

Zitti e Βuoni

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People often have a weird tendency of not saying what they want at the time they’re supposed to. We tend to come up with all the right comebacks and arguments much after an incident occurs; the so-called l’esprit d’escalier (the predicament of thinking of the perfect reply too late).

Often it is much easier to say nothing in fear of provoking an argument. And as kids, we are usually told to be quiet and behave no matter how wrongly or unfairly we feel we’re being treated. We grow up with that attitude. With the notion of saying nothing because it’s ‘frowned upon’ or due to concerns of what our reaction may incite. So many movements have grown nowadays exactly because of this mentality. The most recent #MeToo incidents have sparked the question of why now and not then; yet regardless of the answer, there is the concern of why we don’t speak out at all, not only when or even after things happen. Things that are worthy of our voice being heard.

Italy’s winning song at Eurovision 2021 sent a loud message that difference matters and that making some noise may sometimes lead to something good; a change that everyone longs for but few actually act upon. In a performance that literally rocked Europe, this group appeared in controversial clothing and make-up to state that “vi conviene stare zitti e buoni” (“you’d better shut up and be quiet”), but adding the truth that people often don’t really know what they’re talking about (“Parla la gente purtroppo Parla non sa di che cosa parla”), and recognising that “Siamo fuori di testa ma diversi da loro” (we’re crazy but different from them”). Perhaps it is this boldness to be different that most appealed to the European public.

Because we all want to make a change. But few are courageous enough to do something. It’s easier to be quiet and concede to the norms, rather than speak out and disturb the status quo.

Trailing safe

© Ted Strutz

I never knew what it was like to live your entire life in the same place, let alone the same neighbourhood or even country”. His eyes welled up whenever he would recount the story.

His audience gasped with excitement. For them, it was thrilling to have lived in so many places around the world, to have the opportunity to gain so much experience, to be somewhere different every so often.

But to Ted, that very lack of stability was the problem.

He had grown up knowing he could just pick up his house and leave – literally – whenever there was trouble.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Soothing voices

If you think about it, we become accustomed to the sound of voices even before we enter this world, from inside our mother’s uterus. We hear the voices of those preparing for our arrival, as we are safely tucked away inside our nurturer.

And when we are born, much before we are able to respond to them, we hear all sorts of voices from people greeting us, trying to strike up conversations with us, talking to us.

We associate certain voices with the feeling they evoke in us. Our mother’s voice is one that always generates safety and reassurance. Because you know it’s the source of unconditional love. Our father’s voice is one that offers courage when you’re in despair, but also the one that soothes you and calms you down when you can’t control your outbursts.

For some, the voice of your storyteller – whomever parent it may be – is the one that helps you pacify your agitated state and consequently puts you to sleep. That was the purpose, after all, when you were a child.

It’s remarkable how, as we grow older, the sound of these voices remain imprinted in our memories. And how we continue to yearn for them. Perhaps it comes with growing up, the need to feel as safe, loved and nurtured as you felt as a child. And in the most uncertain and ‘lifeless’ of times, that feeling of childlike innocence, bewilderment and pure joy is what is lacking most.

We should be grateful that the sounds we’ve registered in our minds are those of spontaneous laughter, fun and games, storytelling and amusement. Some are not so lucky, and instead recall the sound of war, bullets flying, soldiers yelling, explosions, ammunition burning and worse.

We should be grateful that we remember what it was like to live freely, without so much concern, stress and worry, without disinfecting every part of our body every couple of minutes; and without the awkwardness of not being able to be close to or hug a loved one.

Ultimately, it’s the voices we grew up with that inhabit our heads. You’re the one who chooses how much to listen to them.

Wrongfully accused

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The first thing that flashed into his mind at the sound of the verdict was the image of his primary school playground. Four kids had set up a court there and were playing judge and criminals. He was one of the criminals, presumably a robber. The judge – a pig-tailed blondie whom he had a crush on – deemed him guilty. When he asked why she replied “because I rule” and added slyly “because Sissy gave you her cookie and you took it”. He couldn’t remember who Sissy even was. But it was a silly reason as that that got him convicted then.

It was an unjustified reason that got him convicted now too. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Wrongfully accused.

Just because they could make him appear guilty. And he was there.

Justice isn’t always moral. And it isn’t always served to those who deserve it.

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

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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

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