The Challenge for Day 23
Today’s Challenge is to write the end of a piece of work, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction or memoir. This is not going to be easy, but that’s why it’s called a challenge, I guess. Since I wrote the preface to my memoir yesterday, I thought I may as well go with the ending today. I’m calling it “Bookends” because that’s what I’m going to end up with…A start, an ending and a whole lot of work to do to fill in the missing pages. But, do you know what, I’m grateful for these prompts because they’re teaching me how to focus on outcomes and not just process. Obviously, the actual ending could be quite different.
I breathe it all in. The soft silence, broken only by a chirping blackbird or tall, wild grass swishing in the breeze. Even the distant humming of a tractor doesn’t intrude, it harmonizes with the rest, gives context. I watch a bee bounce from one lavender stem to another. It gets lost in a blur of purple, but I can still hear it buzzing, its’ little wings must be getting tired now. Soon a few more bees arrive and even a tortoiseshell butterfly joins in the hunt. They flutter in dizzy abandon, almost as if they are intoxicated. Perhaps they are.
I love the scent of lavender, it’s so clean, like freshly laundered linen. Beats scented candles any day, maybe it’s time to bring some inside. These particular insects don’t scare me, so I pick off a few lavender flowers, enough to make a bouquet. The blossoms brush against my sunburnt arms, tickling but cool. Nature is my balm, sometimes.
Later on, back inside the kitchen, I root around the wooden cupboards until I find what I’m looking for. An old, porcelain vase, the colour of clotted cream. I put it in the sink, pour in some tap water and gather up the flowers from the draining board. It takes a while to snip them to the right length and arrange them in the vase, but in the end, they look painterly enough. Maybe I’ll take a photograph of them later on.
Right now, I just want to be lost in the moment.
Oh, the gift of solitude in a place like this. Time to reflect on the past, to understand it as part of what has made me the person I am today. A space to appreciate this moment in time, for it will never come around again. And a chance to plan for a future that’s not controlled by fear. Did I ever think that possible?
But life can’t be all about introspection. In a while, the family will be back in the kitchen and we will take up where we left off. There will be salad sandwiches, espresso coffee, loud banter and squeals of laughter. I feel so lucky.
It’s been a twisty, rocky journey but I got there in the end. My inner child, my little princess warrior, has found peace. And because I’ve set her free, so have I.
This is Day 23 of my 31 Day Challenge, hosted by Jeff Goins: Bookends
The photograph is my own, shot today for this post. The book is “Born Survivors” by Wendy Holden, a fascinating read. Here is a summary in the Independent.uk