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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Standing At The Gate Of The Year -

B​ack in the mists of my ​childhood years (late 1950's), a pre-teen, I read a poem in my ACS School Annual that deeply moved me and quietly lodged in my now-fading memory throughout the long and winding 50+ years.

I remember cutting it out and sticking the piece of paper on my old bedroom cupboard door with Scotch tape (no blue tack until a few decades later).  As a kid I often used to ponder over the comforting words much like a morning prayer as I got ready for school, or had just a few minutes spare in the middle of my wild childhood days.  Now that my time is starting to draw-in, the fear of the mess I may leave for others to gather up and stick in a rubbish skip when I've gone has got me doing the odd bit of rummaging and chucking-out.  It's currently stuff that my mum and dad brought across the seas when they emigrated from Singapore to the UK that I'm still sifting through for the umpteenth time.

I was going through the contents of their old camphor-wood chest, and got the shock of my life........there was that exact piece of paper, yellowed with the passage of decades, but with words as comforting to me as the day I first read them in my old school annual.  My mum knew I loved these lines and when they uprooted from the old country she'd saved my scrap of paper, carefully removing the sticky tape, and stored it with all her memories and treasures, hoping that one day I would be able to read them again. This action encapsulates the loving 
​support that she and my dad always had for whatever I held close to my heart.

Today was that day, and scanned-in below is that ​old piece of paper that I found after all those hidden years - it brought to me a melancholic nostalgia or 'saudade', not just due to the poem, but also the manner of its passage from my childhood room in our old Singapore house to my current flat in London.  Reading it again from the same source for the first time in fifty odd years brings a rather larger than normal lump to my throat from the realisation that all the intervening years have not even slightly dulled ​it's​ emotional charge.

​I hope you too enjoy the message, and the wonderful serendipity now transformed into an Xmas greeting from us all.  Have a blessed Xmas and may the new year finally bring us the peace and love that all living creatures deserve.