Walking through the neighbourhood I pass a house where a young child runs out the front door and, as if thrilled by the sight of me, points to her mouth and says “I’ve got a loose tooth!” I tell her that’s exciting news. And that, apparently, is about the size of it. We’re done. She waves and goes back inside. A sort of unusual town crier.
Around a corner, a voice. I think it says hello. I’m not sure who it is or to whom it’s speaking. I feel a little like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, like when she’s walking through the forest, or passing the scarecrow or the tin man or one of those things that isn’t supposed to talk… but it does. I look around at parked cars, there’s no one. Then to my left I notice a boy, maybe nine, ten years old, half way up a tree. I laugh, tell him that he surprised me. I don’t think he meant to, he’s a lovely, earnest little boy. There’s a large wasp’s nest very close to where he’s standing and I ask him if he knows it’s there. He does. “I’m going to knock it down,” he says. He doesn’t think there’s any wasps in it. I say to be careful anyway and I continue on my way. He says he’ll be careful. “Thank you,” he says. “Goodbye.”
And then a wee tot on the other side of the street, not yet two years old, still a bit wobbly on her legs and holding on to her mum’s hand. She’s dressed in mint green and as I pass I turn my head, catch her eye and in that moment, just a second really, I see her bright face, mouth, eyes, cheeks, all of it so wide open and smiling as if to say isn’t this just such a wonderful thing to be not yet two and dressed in mint green and walking with your mum in the sunshine… I mean isn’t it just???
A pastel shot of B12, a tonic, that lingers.