Footsteps

Time has once again become weird. I am not sure if schools allow it now, but I remember Mercury in the chemistry classroom and poking it to see its apparent ability to cling to itself and then separate out into self-contained balls. Time is like Mercury through my fingers right now, it has a law of its own.

I am enjoying the busier time, even as I start to worry we will not get it all done. As work starts to swallow time, it has a knock-on effect, working against me as I try to get ahead.

Yesterday I am not sure what happened, exactly, but I did not get home before around 6pm when it was beginning to get dark. It was also starting to get cold, so I whimped out on my weekend’s commitment and drove the dogs to the park. After trying to get all the bins emptied so I could put the main bin out, I sat down to try and write what I was expecting to be a relatively short fiction piece.

The next time I looked at the clock, it was 9pm. I had not eaten or showered and I had missed a TV program I had been planning to watch. My husband was working a night shift so he had not come home and reminded me how late it was getting. Fiction is great to write when you have an idea, but it does take time – even when it is a first draft piece. It still is not quite right, but at least I have it in one form (it had started out as a poem) and it kind of captures something, if not exactly in the way I wanted to do it. I guess it is the writing equivalent of sketching an image.

I was going to try and get around to my parents’ house yesterday but had to make it today instead. There is a drive at work to collect books to fundraise this week and I mentioned it to my mother, who was keen to seize the opportunity to declutter. She sent me a message to tell me she had collected a pile together and that, ‘Your father has taken a sudden interest in books, of course.’ Since getting his Ipad, he reads books less, but clearly this threat to his collection had rekindled an interest and indeed he was reading a book when I popped over this afternoon to collect an impressive bagful for sale. No doubt he had been pulling them out as fast as my mother was packing them away, declaring each to be a personal favourite.

I got home, eventually and walked the dogs. Down there this evening was a younger couple I have known and walked with since we moved in six years ago. They have a lovely dog, Jake, but added another slightly less furry member to their family just over a year ago and it was been a joy to watch her grow and develop. She is walking now and it is amazing to see the speed with which she is picking up the technique. Three weeks ago, she was staggering like a drunk and falling over every fifteen seconds. Tonight, she appeared to be sprinting with confidence, the dad running after her and swooping her up when she veered too far off course. They will be moving away soon, having bought a bigger house for their expanding family a few kilometres down the road. I said I was sorry that soon I would not be able to track their daughter’s rapid progress.

‘We will come back and visit,’ they said.

I would like to think they will, but I know the chances are they won’t. They will find another park to walk their dog and their tiny daugter’s footsteps will remain still tottering at speed in my mind long after she has progressed beyond that.

When I got back, I brought all the books my mother had donated into the house to sort through them and put them in four smaller bags rather than one bigger one. There were a couple of good books in there. I slid them to one side before stacking the others back in my car for transport to work tomorrow.

I am my father’s daughter, after all.

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