There were no footprints across the fresh snowfall. Nobody sitting on the swing set yet the chains creaked and the swings moved. A shadow stretched across the ground. A small figure moving back and forth. A child’s laughter rang out into the darkness.
Photos have always drawn me in. I’m no good at taking them and I’m not interested in photography. I like to think about why someone took a photo, the landscape and people in them. The capturing of the moment, the memory.
There are some that believe photos capture the soul. I’ve not come across anything like that, just a lot of nameless faces and changed places.
What I believe is that each photo holds a story within. It’s my destiny to uncover these stories, no matter what they might be.
Darla held her breathe, watching the new cat sniffing around her living room. Darla had never had a pet before, being highly allergic to animals but now she took strong antihistamines. For the past few years, she had done lots of research into getting the right cat and had even spent time being around lots of different breeds.
Darla had finally chosen to get a Sphynx, well known for being a hairless cat. Some people say they are ugly but watching the sliver-grey coated and pale green eyed cat, Darla was all ready in love.
She called the cat over with a ch-ch sound and the cat came. Rubbing it’s head against her hand. Darla picked up the cat gingerly and placed it into her lap. The cat looked at her, mewed and rubbed her hand again, wanting more strokes.
‘I thought of a good name for you,’ Darla spoke as she run a hand down the back of the cat, ‘Cleopatra. Cleo for short. Because you are a Sphynx cat and in Egypt they have statues of Sphinxes. They also worshipped cats like Gods. Cleopatra was a female pharaoh and she’s real famous. What do you think?’
Komorebi; sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.
Six months trapped in hospital with a brain tumour and I didn’t want to spend another moment in doors. But my wife and nurse insisted on a few days resting and strength rebuilding at home before I went back to my hobby of hiking.
‘Take it easy,’ my wife said as we arrived at the forest trail.
‘I shall do,’ I replied and we set off.
Spring was high in the air. The flowers and leaves on the trees out in full and the gentle breeze carried their scent to me. Birds were singing loudly, making the perfect music to our walk. Sunlight was coming down through the trees, creating dancing patches of light on the ground.
The air was so clean and fresh, a shock after the disinfected air of the hospital. There was colour everywhere, so different from the blandness I’d been in. Warmth kissed my skin and I looked up at the sun through the trees’ leaves. I took deep breaths, eyes shut, let the light play across me and relaxed fully for the first time in almost year.
‘Are you okay?’ my wife asked.
‘I’ve missed this,’ I said quietly, ‘nature is the best healer.’
Lavender ran fingers over the purple flowers she was named after. A heavy scent clouded the air, she breathed in deeply, felt relaxed but also a bit head-achy which due to being in this field. Too much of a good thing! Getting a lavender sprig she took it home.
The abandoned building was a good place to hide from bullies. I could get inside a half broken window but they couldn’t. In the darkness I felt safe again with only my breathing echoing and my feet scuffing the floor.
I didn’t bother with a light, I knew the way to the little room where I could sit and wait for the bullies to get bored. A few times I’d even slept there!
In winter, I got some supplies in; candles, matches, a torch, a sleeping bag, snacks, comics etc. and it became little my own little house.
It was a surprise that it was cold enough to snow but Gwen reasoned this was Scotland after all. The first blanket of white she saw from her bedroom window filled her more with sorrow then happiness. Life was going to be tougher from now on.
She got the kids up, ready for school and didn’t telling them anything. They were over- excited about Christmas all ready; six weeks to go!
Hand on the door to leave, Gwen so thought about lying to keep inside. Instead, she braced herself and stepped into the winter wonderland.