Children Playing

I watch them from our upstairs window. It looks down onto their driveway and corner of their back garden. There are three of them, Elephant and her two elder siblings, two girls and a boy. They are all primary school age. Elephant can’t be more than 4 or 5. They play out on the drive or on the grass. There is often a rug laid out on the grass for them. Sometimes they are out on their bikes and when they are bored of these they just drop them on the ground where they lie undisturbed, sometimes for hours. They have a trampoline in the front garden and various cages, no doubt with rabbits and guinea pigs. There is also a family dog, a chocolate Labrador that I saw tied on a leash to the fence. It kept them company while they played, it’s head on its paws. It reminds me of my childhood, watching them. I am watching myself. We played like that. We had dens in the ditches of our fields, in the haybarn. We walked through long grass. We played for hours. The summer felt eternal. The boy will sometimes play on his own, talking to himself, hitting a stick against things. Sometimes I’ve seen him dance. They seem to have an idyllic time. They do as they choose. They are loved. They are free to express themselves. Sometimes I have seen Elephant go to school in fancy dress.

Snail and slug trails glistened on the night-dark pavements this morning. Silvery paths of shining slime. Quite beautiful.

The rigging of the boats in the harbour created a chorus of clanging in the wind. Eerie sounds whistling and wailing, clanking and clinking.

Still tense but I have moments of ease. I just need to yield, to let it be. Que sera, he said, as Doris Day said.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.