Forget Me Nots
Anne talks about her inspiration and reads her work in this video.
Forget Me Nots
The tiny, pudgy finger points with commitment towards the Forget Me Nots.
“Blue flowers!” I say. I am rewarded with a smile of satisfaction and sparkling eyes. We are connecting; his finger and my words.
“Blue flowers!” I say again to cement this sharing.
The small fingers curl around one of mine. I become a walking stick as he takes unsteady steps further down the gravel path beneath a halo of delicate blond curls dance and gleam gold in the sun.
A ladybird catches his attention. He sits on the stones to trace its path and watches as it flips open its wings and flies away. Fist full of gravel, his arm stretches high and the stones are dropped carefully, falling like gentle rain. He repeats it again and again studying the motion until suddenly he stops. His finger is firmly directed to the patterned turn up of his baby jeans.
“Tractor!” I say.
The finger jabs at the fabric again.
“Red tractor!” I say. “Where’s the orange tractor?”
He stares at the turn up for a minute and then, quick as a bird of prey diving for its quarry, the finger stabs at the material, landing just above the wheels on the body of an orange tractor in the design. He jabs at it again.
“Orange tractor!” I say. The finger repeats its jabbing motion getting faster and faster. “Orange tractor, orange tractor, orange tractor!” I say trying to keep time with the finger until it picks up such speed that my repetition turns into a tongue twister and he chuckles.
May has been gloriously sunny and we have spent many hours exploring the garden and now there is a routine. Blue flowers, gravel, fountain, shady trees and gate. Every time.
The gate leads onto a field of ewes and lambs. He knows which is which. I carry him through the gate close enough to see the lambs. Their antics entertain him; frisking, climbing as high on the remains of a large Oak tree stump as they can get, then bleating for their dams. His arms flap with delight when they come close.
We play the game in reverse.
“Owain, can you see a sheep?” I ask. He considers for a moment and then points to a still pregnant ewe quietly munching in the shade of a tree.
“Owain, can you see a lamb?” I ask. No hesitation this time. His arm extends and he stretches, leaning as far forward from my arms as he can, finger first, towards a tiny lamb as it runs to catch up with its mother and suckle.
“Yes, a lamb!” I say. “Would you like a drink?”
As we head back to the house he is walking again with my finger as support. The only stop he makes is for a final check on the Forget Me Nots – his absolute favourite.
That was yesterday. Today I took him and my daughter to Heathrow. Lockdown is now sufficiently eased and New York no longer in a state of emergency, so they can return home to my son in law in America.
As I walk from the car to the house it is as if I can still see a faint impression of those little gold curls bending over the flowers and I miss him. So much.
Inside the house, my daughter had secretly placed a small vase of Forget Me Nots in every room before they left.
“Blue flowers…” I whisper into the emptiness. The tears flow.
However dark the period of Covid 19 and Lockdown has been, the last few weeks will always have a glow around them; a fragile golden bubble against a stormy sky.