Day 7 Wild Musings with Renee Magnusson Tenderness
So much felt tender today. I had planned lunch and a walk around the conservatory with my friend Tessa and I had just texted her to say I was on my way to pick her up when the mail came and I got two parcels from friends in Britain and Tasmania. Something so tender about parcels/ presents chosen with care and wrapped securely and mailed. Fran from Tasmania had coloured the outside of her package with a tranquil scene of flowers and a pond and blue sky and Angela had written ‘happy birthday’ on the back of her package. My birthday is next week and them both thinking about me so far in advance so I’d have pressies to open on my birthday feels caring. But I can feel the love even before I open the gifts. Then Tessa gave me a pot with three hyacinths growing that she had planted for me. The shoots themselves are strong, yet also tender. They should flower in a couple of weeks and Tessa has no idea of their colours so that’ll be a surprise.
Over lunch I was telling Tessa about a prank Dad played on me when I was little and terrified of the Dr. Who theme music (and the daleks) and I said it was cruel really but he laughed. She said something along the lines of how strange it is that we can still want love and still love people who have hurt us, especially parents. Even though Dad is actually a terrific father and I completely idolised him when I young, I still remember that fear I felt that time and when Tessa said that I felt completely seen and understood by her. Her compassion surprised me, not because she’s not a compassionate person but because what I had said had touched a tender spot in her too and we suddenly and unexpectedly related on a deeper level. I love this kind of witnessing and have learned so much more about it from being in Effy’s course, Moonshine. Being witnessed also reminded me recently of our coordinator at work. The company had given us extra money for snacks as a reward for working through covid and our coordinator asked us what snacks we’d like. I wrote a detailed list as I’m diabetic so I hoped for something more than chocolate and she bought pretty much everything I’d mentioned. It felt wonderful, that nod to ‘I paid attention to what you said.’
Tessa is legally blind and has a new guide dog, a golden retriever, a big soft lump with the most expressive face and the happiest tail ever. People literally melt when they see him. I think most people have a tender spot in their hearts for service dogs anyway as many people would smile when they saw her old German Shepherd too. It’s always lovely to have that instant connection with people. In restaurants some of the kindest owners bring water out for the dogs.
Walking through the conservatory with all its gorgeous flowers and tropical plants and waterfall felt magical in comparison to the six foot tall snow banks outside. But this time there was something special: music. Tessa said it sounded like bells, to me it sounded like an organ. Turns out it was a steel drum which looked more like a curling rock and a young woman on a bench was playing it to her friend. We told her how delightful and relaxing it was and she told us she’d got it on Amazon (I want one!) and that it was good for her kids too as they could bang away on it all day and it still sounded good!
Driving home I drove by a donut shop and had a sudden craving for a donut despite being diabetic. Although the mail had already been, I checked our mailbox only to find two persian donuts in a baggie! A surprise from one of my step daughters!
Today was the first day back at work for one of my coworkers whose father had recently died. I sent her a text with hug emojis. She replied with an emoji blowing a kiss. Such moments make my day—just a small acknowledgement of each other being in the world.
I keep trying to make these short for ease of reading but something about the prompts, about the accompanying texts (I loved today’s about the small kindnesses) stirs memories and I just want to share them. I’m trying very hard to not apologise for the length of my Wild Musings but I do thank you for reading this far.
I grew up being called ‘love’ and ‘pet’ from Mam and my Nannas and aunts and today I often pepper my speech with ‘love’ and ‘sweetie’, especially at work and with Rob and my son and step-kids and grandkids. But one time I specifically remember happened when I had returned to England for a visit soon after emigrating. I was maybe 18 but I’ve been the kind of person who smiles and says hi or nods at people as we pass and this one frosty morning I passed an elderly lady on the street. We smiled at each other and I said hi. She stopped and said, “Oh I just want to tell you, if you’re going to the cake shop be careful, pet. That bottom step is slippery.” I thanked her and checked that she was okay and she hadn’t fallen then we each went on our own way. But I felt like a huge fire had been lit inside me. Such a sweet, tender moment that I have never forgotten. That gentle looking out for each other. For me, it’s what life is ultimately all about. That and creating!
When I left Britain at age 16, Nanna, Mam’s Mam, bought me a gold signet ring so I wouldn’t forget her. (as if!) I’ve only taken it off once for a few hours all these years to have it resized. When I was sat beside Mam when she was dying in the hospital, I touched the ring and whisper-asked Nanna to help us and show me how I could help Mam. I felt so useless. A few minutes later, a janitor who had been working all evening and passing by constantly came into the room. She handed me a warm damp facecloth and a hand towel. I thanked her for being so kind to Mam. “No,” she said, “these are for you.”
Thick icicles drip
sparrows chirp, squirrels frolic
time fritters away #67 & 24
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.