Sunday, 6 February 2011

Trying to catch the rainbow.

Yesterday threw virtual puddles in my path.

My daughter has been sad at school and I needed to find out why she felt sad so she and I ventured off to Abrefeldy for a day out and heart to heart talk.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get her mind to focus on any one thing. I can ask her a question and after a while she comes out with a great stream of suggestions which break down into tangents and I am left baffled.
She can seem glum but feels 'ok' in herself except her downturned mouth belies this and an aura of gloom emits a sad signal. I feel like a moth beating it's wings against an opaque window. The moth knows there is light behind the frosted glass but it cannot get to it and ends up exhausted.

We find a shop which sells all manner of brick-a-brack and things. It is an old fashioned shop which smells faintly of eau de cologne and faded grandeur.
We find the corner where the children's books are huddled and we sit on the floor to rummage.
She feels happy looking through the motley collection and finds some old maps which sit amid 1980's Blue Peter annuals. She tells me all about lines of latitude and the lessons she had on map reading at school.

"Why are you sad ?" I ask.

"I'm not" she says.

My darling girl. How I wish I could understand better. I wish I could catch her sadness and release it to the wind as you would with a butterfly trapped inside a window.
I wish she could feel great joy and confidence and how to make sense of the world. I wish I could catch all the colours of the rainbow and wrap her up in them.

We buy an ancient, battered Monopoly set as she loved the tiny houses and the card which demanded that "Every player shall pay you £10" then we walk to the town square.
She starts to laugh when she sees a red hackle stuck on the top of an information kiosk.
"Mum, why does that kiosk have a big red feather on top ?" and I answer that I have no earthly idea but perhaps the designer thought it might be nice. Useless but nice.

We walk arm in arm and she is singing softly to herself.

On the journey home she munches at a salad dish which we bought and inbetween mouthfuls of chicken and lettuce (she carefully picks out all the red vegetables; always has) she begins to talk.

She airs her concern for a school chum who has come from another culture and how can she make this fellow pupil 'feel at home'?
She does not understand why she does not 'get' jokes or lighthearted remarks which someone else had said to her a while ago. She has taken their remarks literally.
She feels that she does not always fit in with others. She feels left outside when others are in.

I feel like I understand a little more. Just a little.

I am in awe of her capacity of love and care for others. She trusts unconditionally.

We have a quiet moment just before she goes to bed and we talk about our day out in Aberfeldy.

"What a lovely day we had Mum. I feel happy".

I would shift mountains if it helped her keep this feeling of happiness but I know it is such a transient emotion and each day, each hour can bring a roller coaster of emotions.
She is changing and growing up and I try to remember how I felt at that age when you stand with one foot in childhood but the bulk of weight is in young womanhood.

The world and it's people are mysteries. We all dance an elaborate dance around one another and leave invisible, intricate Celtic patterns in our wake. We never truly understand our fellow Man but we try our best to make the dance one which we can tackle the steps in time to the music.
Some take longer than others and dance their own dance. Sing their own tune with it's own elegance and beauty.

The world can seem like a very monochromatic place sometimes and we forget or don't know how to add the vibrant colours, yet they are there.
Those who see the world in black or white can almost become overwhelmed when colour is added and understood. That feeling when you really 'see' something for the first time.

My daughter feels lighter in her heart today. My heart feels fuller.

We will never catch the rainbow but feel gladdened when one illuminates a stormy sky.

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