Prince Albert Voice
It’s a dark and windy night with the rain falling heavily on the roof. I’d wanted to finally plant the seed potatoes I’ve had sprouting in a bag for several weeks but the inclement weather has settled in my bones and muscles. I might have used up a little too much energy and now I’m in sort of a low funk, feeling glum and a bit dejected that a little rain and cold could waylay my best intentions. I look out the kitchen window where I was going to expand the garden and plant my potatoes. Would waiting a few more days really make that much of a difference? It was a question I asked myself as my mood dipped even lower. Then I thought of the person who could cheer me up. Kim Laking. She is a long-time friend whom I’ve known since before she was married. And now she lives in a quaint village named Pleasantdale. It sounds charming and I want to go there to see if it’s a lovely as it sounds. Kim lives with her husband, a few cats as well as some strays, ferrets and their dog. And it is her posts on social media that draws me to her profile today. I want to read an anecdote of life from her perspective. She always makes me think, laugh or just find a common ground that draws me closer to her and reminds me why she and I are friends in the first place.
I am the first to admit I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist and a cynic at heart. I am not sure I out rightly believe in coincidence, although I’ve experienced my share of de-ja-vu moments and a feeling of “I’ve been here/seen this before.” As far as I’m concerned, miracles don’t really exist in this day and age. At least not the way miracles occurred when Jesus was on earth and he resurrected dead people back to life or changed water into wine at a wedding. And I certainly haven’t seen anyone extract water from a rock, much less part a sea to allow people to escape from the bondage of slavery in Biblical times. I’ve always been kind of a skeptic when it came to people experiencing “miraculous” events in their lives. Whether they wanted to attribute the miracle to a guardian angel, God’s spirit looking out for them or the belief that a higher power was at work to save them. All of these choices rely on faith, blind faith, as the explanation behind the unexplained. Do you see why I may have a problem believing in miracles? I’m more of a person who relies on logic rather than the unexplained. And then a few things happened over these last couple of weeks to challenge my secure place in the land of logic.
I was watching my little boys play the other day. They are eleven months old now. One of them had a cell phone in his hand, which I was comfortable with as he doesn’t know the password – ha, ha! The next thing I knew, he was joined by his brother and they were attempting to open a game I frequently play. Everything they know, they’ve learned by watching the people in their lives. And I was struck by the thought that if a child who can’t even speak is able to learn so much through the power of observation, how much more so when those actions are followed up with words, lessons, regarding life?
“Children should be seen and not heard.” I was raised by elderly parents, especially a father, whose life philosophy of child rearing seemed to be based on this idea. I remember one Saturday morning my mother was reading the auction sale listings while he read a Louis L’Amour western at the table next to our big picture window, his favourite place to sit. My best friend was over and we were all huddled on the sofa. We’d been told to be quiet while my mother read. My friend and I whispered to one another but then she became louder, not quite giddy, she just acted out of joy. He got up from the table, hit her over the head with the spine of his novel and told her, “I said ‘be quiet’ and I meant it.” He returned to his seat and she and I stared at each other, shocked into silence. It was rare for her to ever visit while he was home after that. And we never mentioned it to one another. I wonder if she remembers this happening.
I’ve known this day was coming for a long time. Mom has been talking about moving for months, and if I’m honest, years. To tell you the truth, I have secretly thought they were just words. The secret desires of a woman who is journeying into the sunset of her golden years and it wouldn’t really happen. And then my eldest brother moved. That’s when the fire was really lit underneath her goal and she secretly began packing things, giving some of her things away to friends in the building and deciding what she would take, what would come to my house and what would be recycled or thrown away. She had quite a lot she planned to donate but that all changed with isolation and quarantine adjusting how we are able to dispense of unnecessary items.