Carim’s Story

This week I’m doing something different. This is a story I wrote for my course in Professional Writing and Editing last year. I had to write the first two chapters only. So here it is.

CARIM’S STORY

Chapter One

It’s Monday and the start of a new week at Preston Primary School. Mrs Jenkins is Leo’s teacher. She tells the class that a new boy is starting tomorrow. His name is Carim and he comes from a country called Syria. Mrs Jenkins shows the class where Syria is on the map of the world.

 The next day Mrs Jenkins introduces Carim to the class. Leo thinks that Carim doesn’t look like him at all as he has dark hair and dark skin. He can’t wait till lunchtime so he can ask Carim a lot of questions.  Outside Leo and Carim sit together eating out of their lunchboxes.

 ‘What was it like living in Syria? Did you have a lot of friends to play with?’ Leo asks.

 ‘Yes I had friends to play with,’ says Carim looking sadly into the distance.

‘What did you do like to play?’

‘I played football with my friends, but only on cloudy days,’ Carim says.

‘Why?’ asks Leo who looks a bit confused.

‘Because when it was sunny the planes came and dropped the bombs. One day a bomb dropped close to my school so I had to go home early. It was very scary.’

‘We don’t have bombs. Mrs Jenkins said we’re safe here. Did you live in a big or small house? Did you have your own room? I have my own room. It’s great!’ Leo stops to eat more of his sandwich.

‘I lived in a small house. Everyone in my family slept in the same room. Dad said this would keep us safe in case the planes came again.’

‘Did you have shops there?’ asks Leo.

‘There used to be lots of shops, but they are closed now,’ replies Carim looking a bit sad.

‘How come? Why are they closed?’

‘They had to close because people were leaving my village and there was no-one to look after the shops.’

‘Do you want to come to my house on Saturday? My mum is taking me shopping. You can come with us,’ offers Leo.

Carim says that he will have to ask his mum first, but it should be okay.

 

Chapter Two

Carim’s mum says he can go to Leo’s on Saturday. She walks Carim to Leo’s house which is only a few streets away from theirs.

Both boys are looking forward to seeing all the shops. They are looking out the window at the cars passing by.

‘It’s not long boys. Almost there,’ says Leo’s mum from the driver’s seat. ‘It’s quite busy at the centre so it might take a while to find somewhere to park.’

 After some time they find a spot to park.

‘Okay Leo, now make sure to hold Carim’s hand as we walk across the car park and you hold mine.’

‘Yes,’ replies Leo as he takes Carim’s hand.

They are soon in the centre. Leo lets go of his mother’s hand and skips ahead of her with his new friend. Carim’s eyes dart from one side to the other with his mouth wide open. Can there really be so many shops in one place?  Back home in Syria he’d heard about shopping centres, but he’d never been to one.

‘Slow down,’ says Leo’s mum as she walks faster to catch up to them. ‘There’s no hurry Leo.’

The boys get to go into a games arcade where they spend a long time going from one game to another as Leo’s mum follows closely behind.

‘Mummy is it lunchtime now?’ asks Leo his stomach rumbling.

‘Yes it is. Carim are you hungry, love?’ Leo’s mum says looking concerned.

‘Yes my stomach is feeling hungry Mrs Walker,’ replies Carim.

They go to the food court where Leo’s mum orders a big plate of chicken nuggets and chips for them to share. As they start to eat Leo asks Carim, ‘What does it feel like not having a home?’

‘Mother says we have a home in Syria, but we can’t live there anymore. Maybe we can go back there one day,’ says Carim looking down at his food.

‘Don’t you want to live here?’ asks Leo.

‘It’s a nice home but….’ says Carim looking at Leo’s mum.

‘Sweetheart, Carim misses where he used to live. If your daddy and I had to go and live in a different country would you miss being here?’

‘I don’t ever want to move from here. I would miss Gran, Pop and my friends too much,’ says Leo.

‘Carim had to leave all the special people in his life to come here. That’s why he’s feeling a bit sad and that’s why you can be his friend so he can start to feel happy again,’ replies Leo’s mum.

‘Yes Carim you can be one of my best friends just like Tyler, Jack and Haris are,’ says Leo proudly.

Leo shares the last of his chips with Carim who is starting to feel a bit better. It’s time to leave. The boys chat excitedly all the way home.

 

Blessings to all xx

 

 

Misconceptions of the elderly

 

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Misconceptions of the elderly in our society are rife. Some see the aged as a burden on the community. They are no longer contributing to the economy, so they are expendable in these times of a pandemic. Some speak of just “going back to normal.” If this means there are deaths among the aged population then so be it. They had pre-existing conditions they say, so they will die anyway.

 

“Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” Pearl Buck (1892-1973)

 

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Is this how we show respect to the aged in our community? To those who have gone before us. They have worked all their lives. They ran businesses, paid taxes and raised families. They contributed to the economy. Here are some just throwing them on the scrap heap and disregarding them in their time of greatest need.

 

“Protecting the elderly, keeping them alive is keeping our memories alive in real life, it is to keep our past literally in today’s time.” Mehmet Murat ildan.

 

They deserve so much better than this. They deserve our utmost respect and to live out their lives with dignity. They are our parents and grandparents. One day when they are long gone we will be in their shoes. How would we like to be treated?

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Blessings to all xx

“Never tease an old dog; he might have one bite left.” Robert A. Heinlein.

Dance like nobody’s watching

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.” Satchel Paige.

I got the dance bug from my Dad. In the sixties he went to dance events every Saturday night. He wasn’t a trained dancer, but he had rhythm and co-ordination. In later years when he went to weddings, many women wanted to dance with him. They said he made them look good. He was great at leading. I can see him now gliding across the dance floor. He looked confident, in control and suave.

“Dancers don’t need wings to fly.” Unknown.

He has since hung up his dance shoes. In the late nineties I was looking for a hobby to keep me occupied outside of work hours. I tried tap dancing and although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t for me. I heard about Latin American dance classes starting up in my local area. I signed up for a free group class and I was hooked. I decided to have private lessons with a dance teacher. I didn’t need a partner, my teacher was it.

“Dance is music made visible.” Unknown.

 
As my confidence grew my teacher suggested I go for my bronze medals in Street Latin (Salsa, Mambo, Merengue and Rumba) and Latin American (Cha Cha, Jive and Samba). All up that was seven dances to learn. It took time to practice, but it didn’t feel like work to me. I loved every minute of it. I learned each routine with enthusiasm and passion. I was told I was an inspiration for others to do the same. It was a compliment and very flattering to know, but I didn’t let it go to my head.

“Dancing with the feet is one thing. Dancing with the heart is another.” Unknown.

 

 
I was successful in getting my bronze medals and I went on to do my silver medals in Street Latin and Latin American. I didn’t do my Gold due to other stuff going on in my life at the time. I’m not disappointed about this. I don’t have regrets. I’m proud of what I achieved.

“Life is like dancing – it’s not about getting from one place to another. It’s about enjoying each step.” Unknown.

Blessings to all xx

What if?

What if you knew when your time was up. Would you do things differently? Live your life in a different way. I know I would and I certainly wouldn’t procrastinate. We all have a set time, but as we get caught up in life this is the last thing on our minds. Death is a subject most of us find difficult to face. Facing our own mortality is an uncomfortable topic. I know it is for me. 

“I shall not wholly die, and a great part of me will escape the grave.”. – Horace. 

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If I knew when it was my time to pass away, kick the bucket, go back home I would do things differently. I like the term “going back home”. I am a soul in a human body. My body dies, but my soul goes on, but I digress. What would I do differently? 

“We are all visitors to this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” Australian Aboriginal proverb. 

 

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I would write a bucket list. This isn’t a new idea. Many people do it. However this wouldn’t just be a list of things to do sometime in the future. As I would know the date of my departure I would have a timeframe set for each item on my list. If something couldn’t be achieved in the set time I would move on to the next thing and hope I would have time to go back and try again. I wouldn’t beat myself up if I couldn’t achieve a goal. I would be proud that I at least tried. 

“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…. Would you slow down? Or speed up …” Unknown. 

I would cherish my family a lot more than I already do. I know this is something I need to address regardless of the hypothetical posed in this piece. Lastly I don’t worry about things I have no control over. This wastes time and energy. I won’t live in the past or worry about what the future holds. Stay mindful and in the present moment knowing my time here on earth is limited.  

 

Blessings to all xx 

Shoulders

At the time I was writing this I was at home recuperating from a shoulder sprain. My right shoulder. Although it’s unpleasant to have, I’m glad this wasn’t on my left. I’m left-handed. I do everything with my left. I’ve been thinking about why this has happened from a spiritual perspective.

 

“There’s really no honor in proving that you can carry the entire load on your own shoulders. And it’s lonely.” Amanda Palmer.

 

The first thing that comes to mind is the saying, “Carrying the weight of the world on one’s shoulders.” Sometimes life feels like that. Worry, doubt, guilt weighs heavily. This is built up over days, weeks, months and years. It can be buried deep in the past, then something in the present triggers it. It can be something someone says, something I’ve read. Even a dream.

 

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“The burdens in our minds is always heavier than the burdens on our shoulders.” Mehmet Murat Ildan.

 

I think I’m over something because it happened so long ago, but maybe I’m not. I bury it and get on with my life. I fool myself that it’s all behind me. What comes to mind as I write this is a relationship. I believe I’m over the person, but not the relationship. What do I mean by that? It’s what I’m left with as in feelings of blame, doubt, guilt and regrets. I’ve put a shield up around my heart, so I can’t get hurt.  Any time anyone shows interest in me, that shield comes back up again.

 

“Sleep with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and you shall give your nightmares fodder on which to feed.” Anthony T. Hincks.

 

It’s been almost seven years since the end of my last relationship. It’s time for me to work through and release these emotions, so I can let go of this shield once and for all. Remove this burden off my shoulders. I can then start to feel safe letting someone in to my heart. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

 

Blessings to all xx

Extra thoughts

Spring comes to life and I feel full of gratitude in nature’s gifts. No matter what is happening around us the seasons still come and go. Just look and you will find joy in the simplest of things. 🙂

Blessings to all. xx

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Spring

“Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party.” Robin Williams is my favourite comedian. I miss him. 😦

 

 

 

This is my last post in the Seasons series and it’s my favourite season of the year. This occurs in Australia between September to November. The days are getting warmer, longer and sunnier. Flowers in bloom as buds are opening. Leaves turning green. There’s a colour explosion everywhere I look. Everything is coming to life.

 

“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” Josiyah Martin.

 

As Winter is a time of endings and completions Spring is a time of new beginnings and new life. In Winter I set myself goals and in Spring I work at making them a reality.

 

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Leo Tolstoy.

 

Kites flown. The sounds of children playing in the sunshine and birds chirping. Smells of newly mown grass and damp soil. Everything that was closed is now opening. The weather can be sunny and dry and then change to wet and rainy. It’s as temperamental as a toddler. Indoors it’s time for a spring clean. In the midst of all this Daylight Savings starts in the first week of October heralding longer days ahead. I love it!

 

“Spring breathes new life into the world around us.” Unknown.

 

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Blessings to all xx

Winter

It’s winter here in Australia. As I write this it’s 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) outside. One of the coldest days of the year, so far. I’m a winter baby (born in August). The days are shorter now or rather it feels that way. By 5.30 it’s already dark.

 

“The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination.” Terri Guillemets.

 

 

Cold, cloudless mornings lead to crisp sunny afternoons. The grass is sparkling with frost. The trees are bare of leaves. Puffer coats, scarves, gloves and beanies can be seen everywhere.  This means more time spent indoors. Coughs, colds and flu are spreading more easily. I’m in the mood for hot, hearty comfort food. Mainly meat, potatoes and soup. As a result the weight goes on. Oh dear!

 

“If winter comes can spring be far behind.” Percy Bysshe Shelley.

 

I work with children as I’ve mentioned before. Nearly every child has a runny nose or cough. When they are sleeping I can hear them snoring with blocked noses. I see the children cleaning their noses on their sleeves. Not a pleasant site!

 

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” Anton Chekhov.

 

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Winter for me is a time to reflect, a time for going inwards. It’s a time for setting goals and visualising reaching them. It’s a time to affirm where I am now and where I want to go.

“One kind word can warm three winter months.” Japanese Proverb.

Next week… Spring.

Blessings to all xx

 

A short note

This week’s post was about Autumn. Here in Australia it falls between March and May. Next week stay tuned for my post about Winter which is what I’m experiencing right now. Thank you for reading my posts. I enjoy sharing them with you all.

Stay tuned….

Blessings to all xx

Autumn

This week is about Autumn. I love the colours of Autumn. Red, orange, yellow and brown. The leaves are falling off the trees.  Walking over them and hearing the crunch under my feet.  The trees are bare. My t-shirts, summer dresses and sandals are put away and replaced with warmer attire. Light jumpers, pants and cardigans.

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” Emily Bronte.

The weather is getting cooler, which is a relief from the summer heat. It’s cloudy with the sun making an occasional appearance. It’s the time of the year where we see a transition from summer to winter. The daylight hours are getting shorter. The heating goes on as the nights get colder.

1000+ Engaging Autumn Photos Pexels · Free Stock Photos

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” John Burroughs.

Autumn is a time to harvest what we planted in the spring. It’s a time for reaping, picking, collecting and gathering before the winter comes.  The earth and nature has provided for us, so we can benefit all year round.

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” Stanley Horowitz.

Blessings to all xx