Tuesday, January 22, 2019 18:40

Outside

Dedicated to Elliott Anthony Emberson on occasion of his baptism

Outside beyond the safety of the walls around me autumn leaves were falling in the chill breeze, forming neat little piles where children would soon kick and tumble with screams of joy. Others fell from more distant trees, into streams and rivers, where they would float among the sun’s rays, creating their own new world of wonder and delight.

Outside, beyond my own warm home the sun was rising ever lower in each day’s sky, casting longer shadows across the land.

Halfway through the long journey that would take me through the year’s seasons sounds began to reach out towards me:

My mother’s heartbeat, a soft note, filling my world with beauty and promise; a note that would soon mean everything to me.

Her voice.

And as day succeeded day, ever something more to prepare me for my journey: Strange sounds, some high, some low, some long, others short. At the same time the walls around me would seem to jump up and down.

I didn’t know anything about music then. How was I to know my mother liked Westlife? Who is Westlife, anyway?

Whose was that other, deeper voice I could now hear? Could it possibly be…?

I wonder!

Outside, beyond my own warm home the damp days of autumn had given way to winter. Snowflakes tangled with frozen dew to spread their glitter across dark mornings. In the safety of my own world I found I could move parts of my body. I liked to kick at the walls around me when loud sounds puzzled me. Was it my mother who kicked back? It felt like a kick!

And I think, just for fun, she used to balance her teacup on me.

Outside, beyond my own warm home the seasons were changing again, from winter to spring, and on to summer. The sun was returning, bringing with it the message of new life. And as nature prepared to herald fresh growth I knew I too would soon have to go.

Was I growing too big to be here? Or were the walls of my home closing in upon me?

But it was nice here. Comfortable.

Outside, beyond my own warm home it was a July night. I had left things a little late and I sensed that my mother was worried about me, but I knew it was time to go: to take those first steps into a new world.

Then, there were lots of voices. Someone, not my mother, was touching me. I had never been touched before. Suddenly it was very bright: like a clear morning dawn. And though the first words I heard were so loud they made me cry, I remember them still:

“Welcome to the world, little one.”

© Copyright 2015 John Emberson