The Wonder and Awe of Life…

The independent life is difficult, it can dull the promise of one’s youth and disenchant the most optimistic of  young souls.

My film-maker son asked me just last week,

“If you could go back to a time in your life where would you go?”  He loves these random questions to get us started on a real conversation rather than just chit-chatting about the weather.

I only had to pause for a few seconds before I blurted out an answer that startled me,

“I’d go back to my early teens…”  thinking only of life in Beirut with my diplomatic parents.

Then I remembered those holidays abroad were only fleeting moments…


Fleeting moment of an Okra flower

Drawing a deep breath I allowed my free falling memories to account for themselves; the first answer that sprang to mind must hold some truth so I trusted my instincts and grappled in the dark for a light,

“Not the misery of my boarding school obviously,” I continued hardly missing a beat, “I could never wish to go back to those days,

“But the brief interludes spent abroad with my family and friends, swimming, beach parties, music, first dates, exploring ruins, picnics, ballet,

“Water ski-ing and so on and on.

“The unspeakable freedom of coming of age in a foreign land without a care in the world and all the confidence of a know-it-all-teenager.”  I sighed wistfully.

“Yes, that’s about the age I would go back to,”  Ian said.

I smiled into the phone and listened.

“When I was about fourteen you told me I could get up a few minutes early and take a book or comic outside and read quietly on my own until the early morning jollies around the breakfast table had settled down a bit.


waiting for the early morning jollies to settle down

“The idea that I could change something to better suit my mood was a totally new concept for me.  I felt so relieved that I could solve my early morning problem with such a simple fix.

“Oh, those were the days, weren’t they Mum?  Not having a care in the world except how to avoid morning jokes and other minor annoyances that affected my all-about-me life.”

I nodded in agreement.

Now all my children have lots of cares in their worlds.

They don’t always buy into the awe and wonder of the world they live in.

It’s hard, it’s disheartening, it’s frustrating, unfair and lonely.

For me the carefree existence of childhood is rather a blur.

Yet finding just a small way to re-capture the adventure and promise of each new day,

to live every moment as a gift,

to feel as though I am worthwhile and can make a difference,

is not completely lost to me.

The wonder and awe of my life,

simply lies hiding in the memories of childhood,

lingering in the perfume of hanging flowers,


Lingering in the perfume of hanging flowers.

buzzing around the lavender on a hot afternoon,

singing in the dawn of a cold winter’s morn.

performing gloriously in the pink of a blossoming tree,


performing in the pink

Longing to be snatched up and slung across my shoulders once again.


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