Marian @ Krysan.org



As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison. - NELSON MANDELA


By Marian Moore


It must have been way back in April 2001 that I was reminded of the magic of Springtime.  It sometimes easy to miss the changing beauty of the garden, but it happens every year - and the daffodils do indeed turn into bluebells.

For most of my life, I have been the storyteller looking in and on as if I was at the theatre - and my goodness What a Show!  But sometime we storytellers miss the best bits and it takes a child to remind us.  So it was with the little anecdote above.

It was this same child who was so familiar with the technicalities of her father's car - steering wheel, clutch, gear stick, brakes - that she cold use her vivid imagination to race around the garden pretending to be a racing driver in hot pursuit of the prize.

She was equally as entertaining when we played, indoors and, it was not hide the slipper, but hide the paintbrushes.  I was quite amazing how manny hiding places we found and much we delighted in our 'made up' game.

Laughter followed us everywhere and what a delight when we discovered my old stopwatch untouched for a decade lying hidden in a drawer.  For the budding athlete it contained the secret of how many seconds it took to get from the Willow to the Fir and back.  And how repetition could improve on this.  A lesson in life.

And it didn't stop there.  Computers were starting to appear in most homes and computer software for children was in vogue.  The Tweenies - a popular TV show for children became an even greater hit in my home office. Wherein lay the added delight of grandma's secret love - paper.  To this day, this is still our 'in' joke.  Indeed, anything like envelopes, paper clips, files - stationery of any kind - was to be cherished.

Washing up also became a source of pure delight to one small girl.  She (my beautiful granddaughter) did the baking at home with her mother and got in even more practice.

I must also mention the hens in the garden - all 8 of them and too much for one small girl who dared venture in their compound and all rushed towards her in search of food.  But at least she learned exactly where eggs came from and why wings were clipped.

The same went for potatoes, peas, runner beans, and Brussels sprouts.  All were given due regard by an interested small girl and a green-fingered granddad who delighted in his granddaughter's obvious pleasure.

Oh! These were such happy, happy carefree days.  The Springtime turned to Summer, Autumn followed and Winter set in.

Throw in a bit of quilting along the way (courtesy of her mum) and walking the dogs and one can safely say this child of ours learned more about life and love between the ages of 3 - to 9 than most.  I am proud to have been part of this process and am reminded of the wide educator (whose name I forget) who said, 'give me the child until he is 9 and I will give you the man'.

This also reminds me ... when thinking about life remember this: no amount of guilt can solve the past and no amount of anxiety can change the fuure. - NELSON MANDELA.  At this point, I leave the theatre - for now at least.


In the precious hours I spent with my grandchild I learned courage.  She was, during those first 9 years, without fear.  In this she was fortunate as this is not the case for far too many children throughout the world.    There have been several occasions in my life when a deep abiding fear had stopped me from doing things that previously I had revelled in.  

For a couple of weeks now I have been reading books by Elizabeth Gilbert, one being Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear.  It seemed to fall off the bookshelf at just the right time and I would like to share one particular story with you.  It's about how Elizabeth learned to deal with her fear in that she made a decision a long ago that if she wanted creativity in her life - like me - than she had to make space for fear.

Plenty of space.


She even prepared a welcoming speech for her fear.  It goes something like this:

"Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together.  I understand you'll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously.  Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I'm about to do anything interesting- and my I say, you are superb at your job.  So by all means, keep doing you job, if you feel you must.  But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focussed.  And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring.  There's plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this, Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognise and respect that you are part of this family, and I will never exclude you from our activities, but still - your suggestions will never be followed.  You're allowed to have a seat, and you're allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote.  You're not allowed to touch the road maps; you're not allowed to suggest detours; you're not allowed to fiddle with the temperature.  Dude, you're not even allowed to touch the radio.  But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive."

Then we had off together - me and Creativity and fear - side by side forever, advancing once more into the terrifying but marvellous terrain of unknown outcome.

Why its worth it.

Elizabeth Gilbert goes on to say that it isn't always comfortable or easy carrying your fear around with you on your great and ambition road trip.  But it's always worth it because if you can't learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you'll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting.  As she points out, this would be a pity as our lives are short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and we all want to do really interesting tings while we're still here!

This is what we all want.  The clock is ticking, the world is spinning, and we do not have time anymore to think small.

Enough said?

         As John Denver sang: "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy" - a good note to end on.



Recommended Reading.

GILBERT, ELIZABETH, (2015), Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear : pub. Bloomsbury Publishing plc



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