Suman Follow

Weaver of stories.
London / Odisha.

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The land of eternal summer
and firelit smiles.
A window seat
and a head full of spring songs.
As the big freeze thaws
little by little,
and the surface of the pond 
shines reluctantly
like a half-polished mirror,
I see the imperfections again —
the roar of small victories,
the whimper of some big losses.
I see them all again,
gathered together for a 
fine spring fest.
Dum spiro, spero. (While I breathe, I hope.)
Nothing truly prepares you for becoming a parent, but what seems to be even truer is that nothing prepares you for being the only child of ageing parents. In my fairly new, two-year-old journey of motherhood, I have been continuously taught, advised, cautioned, and at times even judged by the many mother figures in my life. Then there are books that tell me how to grow a baby and later, how to raise one. But nothing ever teaches you the reality of the other side, of the mute helplessness of watching your parents grow old. Nobody cautions you about the raging sea of emotions that rise and fall inside you when, miles and miles away, you get the news of your father being unwell. No one but you alone must teach yourself this bitter inevitability, little by little, day by day.
Chasing light, hunting shadows.
Back to the times when Terrible Two wasn’t our way of life. 
And — I used to pose and smile for my shutter-crazy mother. 
Dear London, can we be friends again, please?
I could sit here and stare at the world go about its business, all day, everyday. But then there's also a toddler on prowl, all day, everyday. And before his love for 'flaaaa' (that's 'flower' in toddler phonetics) beats my obsession for tulips, I must quickly draw the curtain over yet another of my Instagram dreams.
Of earthy sunsets and beach-lovin' faces.
The sea and I. 
And so we meet again, one a storyteller and the other a secret-keeper. As wave after wave washed me anew, peeling away layers of accumulated worldliness, there were no more stories to tell or secrets to keep. What remained was a warm, hazy blur that felt a little like light-headedness and a lot like happiness.
There's an old mango tree guarding the house whose weathered trunk is now completely blanketed by a giant-leafed creeper. It has been there before my birth, a mute spectator of events, both big and small. The old tree has seen it all. The death of a mother followed by that of the youngest son; the scars of cancer carried quietly by a family forever. It has been part of many celebrations, mostly weddings that have coursed through generations and heartaches. Eons back, its generous shade used to be the favourite playground of little girls and boys, particularly that of one girl who hated naps and would spend her summer afternoons slouched on a stubby bough, reading Enid Blyton. Decades later, when she sees her little boy run gleefully around the guardian tree shouting "teeee! teeee!", her heart is full to its brink. Maybe this is what it is to come full circle. To come home.🌿