STICKS

When my grandson was four

And often in my care,

One fine spring afternoon

We went to the nearby park

For play on the swings, the bars, the whirligig -

To enjoy the warm sunshine

And our own company.

 

He was gungho about his tricycle

And pedalled along the pavement

At risk to life and limb

Coming to an abrupt halt at the corners,

Respectful of 'rules'

Of Nana's slower footsteps

And her concern for his safety.

 

Inside the park he hopped off his bike

And leapt about gleefully on the grass

Like any young thing in delicious freedom.

He poked his head into the shrubbery

And then, his whole self was engulfed.

A moment later he stuck his head back out.

'What are you doing?' I asked.

 

'I'm looking for sticks!

There are lots in here.

Do you want to come in, too?'

'No, thanks. I'll wait here.

I'll watch your pile for you.'

And he scooted back into the bushes

Grinning with delight.

 

For almost an hour

He hunted, selected and sorted

Extending his range through the thick brush.

His pile got bigger and bigger

And more unwieldy by the minute.

Finally, he had enough.

He was satisfied, and he was tired.

 

He lay down on the grass by his bike

Quite out of puff

His eyes dancing.

'Time to go home.' he said.

'OK.' And I slipped on my shoes.

I stood up to depart, but he didn't move.

For a moment, I didn't 'get it'.

 

'Oh!' and I started to laugh.

'Are you taking these home with you?'

'Yes!'

'And how are you planning to ride your bike

And carry the branches at the same time?'

He just looked at me.

'OH!'

 

So I gathered up his precious sticks

Wrapping my arms around them tightly

Not to lose a single one.

When we got home we made lemonade

And then, he disappeared into the garden -

To 'build a house.' A HOUSE!  HIS OWN SPACE!

It was altogether a very interesting afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

Cynthia Buell Thomas, May, 2019

◄ Playing On The River Promenade

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Comments

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Martin Elder

Thu 16th May 2019 22:10

This made me think of pooh sticks. There is a place in Sussex where there is a bridge called pooh bridge. This is what A.A Milne based the game of pooh sticks on from his Winne the pooh stories. I used to take my kids there when they were small and we lived in that part of the world. Sorry I am rambling
But an enchanting poem Cynthia.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 12th May 2019 14:16

Oh, I was fine with 'mundane', totally. 'Seemingly' would probably have been better.

I think I usually apply it to things like 'washing the dishes'and 'clearing out cow shit' etc. etc. Chores mostly, that HAVE to be done in the interests of health and safety. For me, I guess any interaction with a living thing, fauna or flora, lifts any task out of 'mundane'.

Although, a pile of poo is very 'active', isn't it! Ho! Ho!

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Wolfgar Miere

Sun 12th May 2019 13:57

Hi Cynthia,

I agree regarding the mundane, often the mundane simply means an absence of attention, maybe instead of using the words "superficially mundane" I could have used "seemingly mundane". I did think there was a danger in using that phrase in that it might be misunderstood, I'm thinking you didn't misunderstand but simply wished to clarify.

David.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 12th May 2019 13:40

Thank you, gentlemen. I try to live with my eyes, my head, my heart and my arms wide open. I don't believe in 'mundane'. The glory of life is in the details! Just as, I truly think, the opposite is equally true.

What really struck my heart in this little 'story' was 'Do you want to come in, too?'

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Jason Bayliss

Sat 11th May 2019 23:12

And this is all together a really enchanting story. Bless him, I hope his house turned out great.

J. x

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Wolfgar Miere

Sat 11th May 2019 18:08

Hi Cynthia,

This seems to me to be a microcosm of deep love and support often manifest in the context of family.

The best thing is it isn't just a metaphor, I am assuming this was a real event. I realise it seems a simple enough happening but the idea of your grandsons intent when gathering the sticks surely speaks of his character, and that is what makes it interesting even though it is superficially mundane.

David.

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