In my day I got about by walking, mostly.
My school seemed miles away, little legs, little steps. A child of 5 years old, dawdling behind my older brothers, it took an age, but we got there eventually.
I especially liked this time of year with lilac trees in full bloom, the scent of the purple and white, made the journey even more pleasurable.
Not a care in the world as I walked the same path day after day year after year.
The houses, net curtains some gleaming white, others not so sparkling.
The gardens with walls, fences, hedges and open drives.
The weeds, the flowers the rockery, if you were posh and some with broken paths.
‘Hold my hand, we’re crossing the road’ . I do as my brother tells me and feel his grasp as I slip my hand into the safety of his.
We look left and right and left again and safely make it to the other side.
We stop at the shop, a quarter of sherbet in a cone shaped bag. I suck my finger and dip it in. The sweet, crunchy, yet sour too, dissolves on my tongue and I dip again and again, until it’s all gone.
Half an hour or more has passed, were nearly there, I see the gates at last.
Crowds of children heading to school. Cars rushing by and buses too. People walking, some fast some slow. Dogs barking sometimes sirens blaring.
Cracks in the pavement, avoid at all cost. A game or compulsion, not sure at this stage. Counting in my head each step of the way.
Good morning, hello, oops excuse me, move you’re in my way. Expressions and greetings everyday.
Coat on the hanger and head to the hall. Assembly starts for one and all. We start with a prayer and end with one too. The stuff in between is when I think of you.
You, the world, outside of my place, when I’m all grown up and take my place. What will it be, what will I do. My legs will be bigger, my steps will be too.
When I’m older, in that day, I wonder if I’ll wonder what it was like in my day !
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