Whenever a lightning bolt sparks up the sky I am left with a thought, and then a ramble which then grows like ivy in my mind from what happens around me, within me and those coincidental events of life.
This time sweets.
The spark took me to thinking about when I was a kid and I went to places where there were loads of other kids. In this case a holiday caravan park.
And at the early kids disco they would give out sweets. And all the kids would run to grab as many as they could. All pushing each other out the way as the young kid holding a bucket of them would throw them out like chunks of meat to hungry lion cubs.
There were no rules to this. A lesson in human nature at its simplest. Survival of the fittest.
These moments always feel vivid to me in my mind. It’s amazing how much I remember from pre 5 years old. Maybe I really do have a photographic memory which is wired to block out logic… otherwise I guess I might be a genius with crazy hair.. well I have the crazy hair 😊 but I’m no genius. At least not in this world.
Im meandering through this because this is something I love to do these days. Either run and spin like I’m a human whirlwind of energy or float as though living in the clouds dreamily, taking in the tiny details and imagining how it all looks in a completely different way. And I’m at my happiest as both. And when they come together In those rare and most beautiful of moments… well it feels pretty spectacular.
And often it’s dependent on what the sun and the sky look like that day and who rocks into my world.
So dancing back to that disco. I would be at the back of the crowd waiting patiently, quietly, politely for my turn. My mum would always say “You’re better than that. Don’t be grabbing. Wait your turn nicely and have good manners”.
My mum to me without any of the fancy stuff had a real class about her just in her way of being. Whilst other mums at my school would be parading their big new cars and fancy new coats my mum would have walked there in her second hand number donated by someone who loved her. There was nothing not to love.
I’m trying to describe what I mean. She just didn’t need it. Even without it she just had it. She wasn’t one of the gossipy mums in the playground who was part of the “in gang”. She didn’t care for anyone else’s business And of course no one knew hers. She had something special that was hidden behind her basic existence of bringing up 4 kids. She knew stuff and she was quietly wise and caring. And although she always stood in the shade, for me she shone like a hidden star.
Whatever it was she had, I wanted it.
She used to say, if you really want something that much then work hard for it but there is nothing you can buy that will be worth more than being happy and being nice to others.
So wait i did watching kids walking past with sweets pouring through the gaps in their fingers knowing that in my goodness i would get my share…. eventually.
Aaahh the naivety.
Of course i ended up with nothing and walked back to my mum with a long face, tears in my eyes feeling inside “it’s not fair!!!!”
It makes me smile thinking about it. It’s why I cheered so much when Charlie Bucket was given the Chocolate Factory.
Wanting it all. Having everything that money can buy and the luxuries of a big house, flash motor, designer everything and being the envy of all those around you. I had that once, for a brief moment with a rich boyfriend I had at 18 years old. Big house.. check! Flash motor, well pretty decent I guess but I couldn’t drive anyways so wasn’t much good to me, nice holidays.. in a short space of time, many, and nice stuff… yeah presents galore.. on my 18th birthday I was showered with Chanel perfume, posh chocolates and a diamond and blue topaz necklace. And yet none of it was mine. And it certainly did not make me happy. 18 months later I was a shadow of the once frivolous and fun 18 year old. An empty shell who was wondering what life was about anymore. The naive girl engaged and trapped in a moment of getting all the sweets. Only it wasn’t very sweet anymore.
Or perhaps the second option. Maybe I didn’t feel good enough or worthy of all those things. Perhaps.. a little. But having tasted what those sweets looked like and the real price I paid for them I was very much of the opinion that in fact all the sweets in the world would never be enough for me in life. Turns out my mum knew a thing or two but I guess I needed to taste them first before I really got it. Back to the garage What a lovely feeling that was.
I think that’s when I really tasted and savoured the sweetness and thought it’s all about love for me. Anything less doesnt mean anything.
So perhaps and maybe I’m still very naive in my thinking, I realised that life for me was all about the little things that many others could not see. The little insignificant stuff that went unnoticed but I cared about so much. Those magical moments, or beautiful wonders or things that just made me smile for no particular reason other than being very lovely. They were the sweets I wanted. And I always found them and was the first in line for them. Perhaps because no one else was queuing up for them except me and they poured into my hands like rubarbs and custards, lemon bon bons and chocolate chewy nuts. I didn’t have to push a single person out of the way. The whole sweet shop belonged to me.
Everything I loved was in the experience and always on a whim and always wirh so much excitement. I don’t remember ever coming back from anything saying … oooh the food was horrible, my room should have been bigger, the service wasn’t what it should have been or I want more!!! I just always felt lucky!!!
And even the things that have gone wrong leave me with memories that are so rich and beautiful that if I were to “pop my dogs, oh sorry my clogs” tomorrow that I would feel like I have had the most magical and wonderful existence and I didn’t waste it. Even in the sadness Ive always found something to make me smile. And it’s never been a new settee, a big tv or diamond rings.
Perhaps I have no ambition but I’ve always worked really hard from my first paperround at 9 years old where I used to spend my money on things from the magic shop… X-ray glasses, grow your own magic water monkeys and invisible ink. I mean noone wanted to win that magic set in the school raffle as much as I did every year. I believed so much as I sat there with my one ticket. I think NP with his 100 tickets must have taken one home every year. What did he do with all those magic sets ? 😊
Im smiling thinking of all these things as I remember that It was all in the excitement. The disappointment was there at the time but forgotten in the mist.
So then what made me so happy when I was given a gift. The thoughtful ones are always the ones that I treasure.. more than the senders would ever anticipate or realise. I was given a gift that captured my imagination like an experience. Like a tiny baby I found myself more mesmerised by the wrapping before I could even find my way to the magic that lay underneath. If life is in the moments and the details then this gift was all about that. It was the sort of gift that I will be unwrapping for much time to come and was appreciated because it said something. And the way it made me feel in that moment and those that followed was like I was a sunset.
The surprises and sparkle were hidden in the outer wrapper of life and also beneath. And in that moment of surprise I thought this is the kind of sweet that should be shared with everyone. It is too special not to be. But just for a moment, just for one special perfect and selfish moment, I will let myself keep this sweet all to myself. And in a moment I will go and watch what magic looks like.