I know that I would make the changes then so that I didn’t have to think about changing them now. For a start I would listen more, listen to all the voices around me. The wise and well-meaning words particularly the ones which said “one day you will understand”.
I would listen to all my grandparents had to tell me, listen to their stories and I mean really listen to soak up their experiences both the good and the bad. To not dismiss them as just being too old to know better, after all, we all get there eventually….old age. Mmmm what else would I listen to, oh yes the dawn chorus, this fascinates me as I hear all the birds waking up to another day rather than how it used to irritate when I was trying to get some extra shut eye before getting up.
It’s not until now that you can admit there really were good days. Days when you could dream and hope to be anything you wanted to be and where working for a living seemed such a long way off. I would understand and appreciate the privilege of education because I would know that it wasn’t an opportunity given to all. I would know that all those hours of reading, writing and A pluses in English Language really could get me the job of my dreams and I would pursue it with abandon and not listen to the nay sayers who told me to get a proper job.
The seasons, I love the changing seasons. Not sure I did then but if I went there a second time, I would know. I would marvel at the sight of the new born, bouncy lambs in spring. Trying out their legs set against a background of majestic, sunny daffodils. Summer days, were longer then and sunnier. I always thought apple blossom came in the summer but now I know different. Autumn, oh yes autumn would be soaked up for all its beautiful vibrant colours and crisp leaves. There would definitely be more walks in the chilled air and realising that going without fireworks wasn’t so bad, after all, I know now that they really are “money up in smoke”. Funny how a season so beautiful is really about everything coming to the end of its life and dying off.
That it was a time to create traditions to pass onto future generations, a time of reflection and particularly a time to celebrate the lives of family and friends no longer with us. Only now I realise what Christmas is really about and that is giving rather than receiving and that the giving doesn’t have to be a big thing but sometimes a gesture is just priceless. OK, so I know that Father Christmas isn’t a guy in a red suit but I don’t need to go back a second time to know that he is real, well his spirit is real and he lives on in the hearts of those who give. Maybe the greatest gift of Christmas was the one the little baby born in stable gave us and that is the gift of serving others. No, I don’t need to go back a second time to know about this time of year.
I would definitely spend more time just watching the clouds because they really do talk to you. They can be anything you want them to be and they are never the same twice. Something else which is never the same two days in a row is the moon. We don’t always see it but I know now that it is always there bit like love, friendship and compassion. Like the moon, we couldn’t survive without them. The moon which can light your path like no other. And the sun, you can’t have one without the other. I know now that sun commands your respect, ignore it at your peril but how can you not sit out in it for hours at a time, basking in its warmth and glow. I would definitely watch more sunsets and sunrises if I were to go back a second time, funny how the sun stays in the sky all day but disappears below the horizon in just minutes.
On my trip back there again, I would treasure things and keep them safe because one day when I was much older, I will take them out, remember and smile. They will bring back memories of fun and carefree days when the future seems a long, long way away. Yes, if I went there a second time, I would see things so differently through my eyes of a child.
©Tracey Louise Marinelli