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Sunday 10 March 2013

Dancing in the next room

I cut a rectangle out of the blank, red card and watched as the remainder fell gently down onto the desk. Laid out before me, sparkling glitter, colourful pens, scrunched up tissue paper, and smelly white glue waited patiently to be transformed into something beautiful. And so, I began creating with all the other children in the class. I glanced around the room to see paper flowers and tissue hearts being fixed enthusiastically into place. We made those cards every year for Mother's Day, and every time, I couldn't help but wonder where she was.
So I would sit, drifting off to another place...
And suddenly I saw all the mothers on the other side. Lifting trailing skirts up off the floor, they span around and around, laughing heartily as they twirled. Hair flew weightlessly in the breeze; eyes sparkled as they danced on and on, as free as birds. Bodies moving to the music without a care in the world; it's the dance of the mothers, dancing of angels. Swapping tales of their loved ones in the next room, they laughed affectionately until their sides hurt. The connection between here and there, them and us: unbreakable...
Suddenly, my attention was pulled away from the spectacle and once again, I found myself back in the classroom with glitter-covered fingers and a smile on my face.
Years later, even now when I dance, I will occasionally think of her spinning around next to me as the music plays on, happy in the knowledge that the ones we love never really leave us.

Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful women out there, shining their love for all to see.

Saturday 2 March 2013


We grabbed our bags from the overhead bins and literally ran off the plane. The mad dash through Vienna airport to catch our connecting flight was hectic. With the doors closing in less than a minute, we weaved frantically in and out of the crowd. Stepping inside the warm cabin, hearts pounding, foreheads glistening, we made our way to our seats against a backdrop of sarcastic applause. I couldn't be bothered to explain about our aborted landing minutes earlier, and instead, decided to just sit and have a cold drink. And that's when I found a group of passengers sat in our seats, refusing to move. After a battle of words, the flight attendant came along, barked at us to disperse, and told us to find any free seat so that we could take off. And so I turned, left my friends, and made my way towards the back of the plane to squeeze in between two passengers who had absolutely no intention of allowing me past easily. This was going to be a long 11 hours! 
It wasn't until I eventually drifted off into a light sleep that I finally let go and began to look forward to seeing Thailand for the first time.
It was magical, enchanting, and life changing.
Then, the tsunami came.
The flight home was a bit of a blur. Looking around at the half-empty plane, a thought occurred to me. What if everything did indeed happen for a reason? What if we were meant to be late that evening so that those people could sit together one last time? Are we ever really late for anything, or do we always arrive at exactly the right moment?
Looking out down towards the clouds, tears rolling down my face, I said a quick prayer for everyone who wasn't on the plane, and made a vow to breathe with life, trusting that I will always be  where I am meant to be.