Gill Eastwood

Well deserved ramblings of an old, old woman

I am waiting for the children of my children.  How quickly time flies.  Just the other day my Amelia and Jamie were born.  Now they are the parents.  I have a chocolate cake in the oven.  The comforting chocolaty aroma permeates the house and reminds me of my mother’s legacy – a need to feed.  It is not cold enough for a fire today although the weather is turning.  I am gently rocking in the swing on the verandah, an open novel in my lap and pot of tea brewing on the table beside me.  The sea is wild today.  It is a murky green colour. Sometimes I think about retiring but then I really will be old.  My beloved husband is out walking on the mountain.  Life is peaceful and fulfilling.  I feel myself sliding into a reverie of the past.  It happens often these days …

I don’t want to go to school today.  My tummy is sore.  I want to stay at home and help Mommy bake.  I love the chocolaty smell of it baking in the oven while I lick the bowl.   School is scary.  I can’t do things like the other kids can.  Sometimes they call me stupid.  I don’t care.  Who needs silly old school anyway.  I’m going to grow up and get married and have lots of babies.  Mommy is cross with me.  She doesn’t believe me about the tummy ache.  She thinks I am making it up to get out of going to school.  The other day I put my hand up to ask permission to go to the loo.  Sister Canus wouldn’t let me go because it was close to break time.  I only made it just in time once the bell rang.  Sister Canus also says that we are only allowed to use two blocks of loo paper and sometimes I use more than that.  I also can’t always tear the computer paper neatly along the edge.  Sometimes it tears and the last time I got my spelling wrong I got hit on the knuckles with a ruler.  Now everytime Sister Canus asks me a question I get a loud noise in my head and I can’t hear what she is saying to me.  I am scared and lonely. The other day she asked us what we were going to be when we grew up.  I said ‘I want to be actress’ and she laughed, really loudly, and soon the whole class was laughing at me.

It is warm in my beautiful kitchen.  I am icing the cake.  I find it soothing to bake.  Who would have guessed?  My grandchildren are preparing to go back to school.  I am so glad that things are different from my day.  I get so angry when I think of the abuse of power and scare tactics that were used when I was a child.  I remember how much damage it caused to my essential self – to my very essence.  What right do we have to strip people of their beliefs and fantasies?  Who are we to say that people are not entitled to their dreams?  I suppose it’s no surprise that I have dedicated my life to helping people find their dreams, their voice and their vision for a wonderful life.

I survived school by the skin of my teeth.  It was torture and I hated it.  School chewed me up and spat me out – a confused, terrified, self-doubting woman who was lost, floundering.  My mother wanted me to go to secretarial school.  A secretary for God’s sake.  Never.  Never ever.  Never.  Not me.  I still had the smoldering remnants of a dream.  I yearned to be an actress.  Despite the lingering memories of being laughed at for my grandiose ideas, this was my truest hearts desire.

It was David who co-erced me into auditioning.  David who convinced my flagging self-esteem that I was worthy of living the life I had dreamed about.  He woke up a desire long dormant.  I felt like I had escaped from prison and was making one last desperate attempt at freedom.  I plucked up every ounce of courage I possessed and marched into the building.  The atmosphere was electric.  I was home.  I was in a place where people shared my dreams, where creativity was prized and where I could excel for the first time in my life.  People no longer called me stupid.  I had friends to talk to.

The kids have left. Their visit went by in a flash.  It’s interesting to see what traits and life lessons your children choose to carry forward as they raise their children.  The grandchildren are both confident and centered.  They have also been raised to care about other people and to value the environment. I am glad that we, as a society, averted the crisis we were heading towards thirty years ago.  I am glad that we re-evaluated our priorities and how we were raising our children and treating our world.  I see people now who are happier and healthier, more connected to God, more in tune with their purpose and with more joy and fulfillment in their hearts.

My husband is home.  He will be sorry he missed the kids.  I have put the Cornish pasties in the oven to heat through for dinner.  We eat early these days and go to bed early too.  Nearly 50 years of marriage.  How many people can say that these days?  I go inside to give my husband a welcome home hug.

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