Wednesday, 19 June 2013

What Makes A Giraffe Laugh?

“What makes a giraffe laugh?”
My little granddaughter, a girl with laughing blue eyes and a perfect round face, looks up at me with glee. She is giddy with delight as we are on a trip out together, without encumbrances or limitations. It is midsummer day and so we have determined to make the most of the long, sultry daylight hours, and just be.
I feel a sense of becalmed joy as her tiny fingers touch my jewellery.
“I bought you those earrings for Christmas, didn’t I grandma?”
“Yes my darling, and they are my favourites” I respond, my love for her almost tangible in the air that surrounds our bodies. Hers, petite with a grace and freedom of movement exquisite. Mine, bigger, taller, and broader, with the streams of the years crossing my face like all the suns and shadows I have known. I smile.
“Why are you always smiling grandma?” she asks.
“Because I love to be with you”, I reply.
Geese, forming a big V in the summer blue sky fly overhead.
“Look” I say, “our own letter from the alphabet. We both have it in our names, the geese are saying ‘hello, have a nice day’ “.
Olive giggles and blinks long luscious eyelashes, jumps up and down in delight, and with a burst of fun filled radiance, she runs along the geranium fringed path to the next enclosure. This pace suits me, some quiet questions of contemplation and some running and jumping. With this, I can keep up because I experience an uplift in my bones, being aware of the gratitude in my spirit to have this little girl in my life. She wants to see and talk and draw and question, like a palmate leaf open to all that the universe can offer.
After explanations, the little drawings in our sketch books, we head for the café where tourists sit under red umbrellas. An Inman in his robes with his holy countenance engenders more inquiries from Olive, who is fascinated by other cultures and costumes.
“I have a sari at home grandma, mummy bought it for me on Brick Lane, and sometimes she draws me a bindi”.
“What is a bindi?” I ask, amused by her knowledge.
“It is a little beauty spot, and it goes right here” Olive retorts in a voice aghast at my ignorance. Pointing to her forehead, her little fingernail is painted candy pink and on her brown arm little bracelets, childish and sugar pink, rattle and tinkle.
“What shall we eat?” I ask, “my breakfast porridge has disappeared into my feet”.
She giggles.
“You are funny grandma, there is no porridge down there!”
We have so much to still enjoy on this midsummer’s day, which I will never forget, but know that she will.

The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule

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