Sunday, 29 March 2015

My Sunday Photo


photograph copyright: De Tout Coeur Limousin


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Saturday, 28 March 2015

stories so far: The Market

Ella had given up her job, her flat and left her friends behind to follow her dream of travelling the world. Life had always been safe for Ella, or rather she had always kept herself that way; well protected and defended from any risk. Whether it was her fear of meeting new people or trying new things - she had always kept herself away. This was an OK sort of existence for a while, but it was just that; an existence. There was no risk, no conflict or fear, but there was also a lack of colour or energy in her daily life.  

The decision Ella had made to venture out of her comfort zone had surprised everyone - including herself. But somehow the flight tickets got booked, the flat got sold and her bags were packed.  She was on her way. 

Ella was definitely reconsidering her decision now. She had forced herself to leave her hostel that evening.  She had spent almost a week inside her room - only venturing out to buy food from the snack machines in the foyer before running back to her room to eat on her own. Ignoring the giggling groups of other travellers and tourists in the communal lounge. The heat in the bustling market place was immense. She carried on, pushing and being pushed through the busy streets.  The burnt orange and terracotta reds of the sky filled her eyes. The sun was setting, but it didn't seem to be getting any cooler. Ella was struggling to breath and the noise just seemed to be getting increasingly louder.  The clatter of stall holders shouting and selling their wares - and the cars and mopeds whizzing past.  It was too much for her.

Ella tried to carry on walking, and swallow down her tears but couldn't stop them from rolling down her face. Her defences had fallen apart. She was scared, alone and felt defeated. Who was she kidding that she could hack it out in the 'real world'? A world of noise and colour and people.

Ella needed to stop - she found a little place to hide in an alleyway behind the market stalls and slumped herself down, Holding her head in her hands she sobbed.  It definitely felt like a mistake coming here. What had she done? Ella felt completely alone and lost.

A door opened out into the alleyway - it was an older man dressed in dirty kitchen whites. He lit up his cigarette and then looked over towards Ella. She hadn't noticed him and was still crying.  He went back inside and returned a few moments later with a glass of tea and offered it to Ella. She looked confused and was immediately suspicious and was suddenly very aware she was all alone in this corridor with this man. She looked for escape routes to run away. He noticed her fear and tried to reassure her. "Don't be scared - you look sad so I bring you tea. This is all." Ella looked up at him - his eyes open and kind. He looked like her father. She took the tea and drank it. It was a delicious hot and sweet mint tea. She immediately began to feel refreshed - the panic and the heat had dehydrated her. Ella started talking - she's not quite sure why. She wouldn't normally talk to strangers - let alone drink their tea in alleyways in a foreign country!  "I can't carry on. I need to go home. I am not strong enough..." "Why are you here?" the man asked. "Some stupid idea I had to see the world and live more". "Well this is what you are doing. Don't give up. You are never alone in this world." A voice called from inside the kitchen and the man wished her a good day and went back to work.  Leaving as suddenly as he had appeared.  

Ella wasn't sure whether he was talking about God or other people, but it didn't matter, it was enough. A simple, human exchange - a cup of tea and a few words. Who knows what the future holds or where you will end up. You will fall and you will hurt sometimes but you can get up and carry on. There will be others to help you - if you notice them and allow them to notice you too. Maybe it is in that space where risk and faith meet that we can take the leaps into the unknown.  




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Nikki Young Writes

Prose for Thought

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Monday, 2 March 2015