A walk down the street

Yesterday on a walk with her, we stopped time. Several times.

We found a discarded key chain minus the keys, a little motif of a boy in blue and red, wearing a snow cap. “Aww, don’t worry little boy in blue and red”, said she. “I will give you a good home”. And thus it is, that he came to live with us, this little thing on the side of the road, someone’s momentary indiscretion. Tucked in her jewellery drawer, hidden among plastic pink beads and stuffed toys with bright smiles, he is now well cared for.

“Look, Mum, autumn”, she said. And we looked at the golden and red and golden-red leaves that had begun pile up in crunchy heaps around the feet of unrepentant trees. Through the nude branches of the trees, we saw slivers of blue skies; such cloudless, clean slates, they were. 

“I am cold”, she said. I apologised for not getting her jumper. I was supposed to have packed it and I ended up forgetting.

“Don’t apologise Mum”, she said. “You cannot be responsible for someone’s cold arms”.

“But I am actually”, I point out.

“Mummies are responsible for the seasons too, then?”, she asks.  Suddenly the responsibility of the seasons is such a delicious privilege.

We eat cupcakes at the Cupcake cafe. A cookies and cream cupcake for her, a slice of blueberry pie for me.

“Don’t eat all of yours, Mum. I need to taste it too.”

She finishes her cupcake and eats some of my pie. And hands it back with a tiny wrinkle on her once-cold nose. Then more philosophically on the heels of this disdain, she informs me that unless one eats blueberry pie, one cannot dislike it.

We walk back to the car, and her arms are cold again. For once, the idea of parking further and walking more seems impractical.

“I shouldnt have parked the car so far away”, I voice my thoughts.

“How would we see what lies in the grass if we drove everywhere?” she asks. The grass has treasures too, you know.

We pause for a minute outside the stone chapel near the street parking. The sky is purple, the trees are stoic, the piles of leaves are strangely illuminated by the setting sun. But the hedges are unabashedly green and the oleanders stand at the gate like friendly neighbours willing for a chat with the passers-by.

“This is so pretty”, she says. And then “This is so pretty and so sad, isn’t it?”

Autumn is that way. None of spring’s obscene cheer for her, no thank you.

“All pretty things have a bit of sadness in them, Mum”, this time there is no question.

“Maybe the sadness balances the prettiness”, I say.

“Or maybe all sad things have one good thing about them. Their beauty?”, she says.

“Race you to the car”, and then she is off into the grey dusk.  A little flurry of wavy tresses, blue jeans and white sneakers. Past trees that are sentinels and houses that are warming their insides.  

And then I finally see a pattern in the seasons. Of the trees and our lives. Like the little boy in blue and red,  perhaps there is always a season of discarding. And a season of picking yourself up from the grass and heading homewards.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Captain Nemo
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 22:30:03

    ” “Or maybe all sad things have one good thing about them. Their beauty?”, she says.”

    Awesome… Totally loved it.


  2. Rajavel
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 22:34:21

    Awesome again. Beauty in sadness is so true. Tragedy and melancholy has some aching beauty to it.


  3. anantya
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 11:59:53

    How old is your girl? She says such wise things. You must be so proud of her.


  4. scarlettletters
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 16:01:19

    Thanks Captain and Rajavel.

    Anantya – she is 9. Sometimes, she is quite the old soul. Thanks for dropping by.


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