Friday, 5 February 2016

Remembering Pass the Parcel

Remembering Pass the Parcel
Ring a ring a roses
A pocket full of posies
Attishoo, attishoo
They all fell down
They all danced around,
They sang the nursery rhyme,
Some fell down, some never got up.
As the music stopped
The string untied, the paper removed
She had survived; she had the gift of life.

The music came again
The year 1956 – she sang along to Doris Day
Que-sera-sera, what will be, will be
Along came the motorbike
Whipped her up like a rag doll
Deposited her, broken, in the middle of the road
The next layer of paper was removed
Things weren’t too bad – just broken legs and lacerations
Really she was so lucky - another gift
 They were Twisting away to Chubby Checker
She twisted right out of Birmingham

Parcel in hand she took off the wrapper – the next layer
She landed in Dolgellau and then Aberystwyth
Rural gifts, seaside gifts, mad and crazy gifts
The Beatles are singing
All you Need is Love – ba-ba-ba-ba-ba
She sang it, they all sang it – it was their anthem
She stopped singing, the music faded
She opened the parcel
Her beautiful firstborn lay there
All olive skinned and honeyed
Wow, it’s 1968 - Louis Armstrong
He blows that trumpet and croons
“It’s a Wonderful World”
And it is.   The music stops again
The wrapping removed and there she is
Another girl – all golden and blue-eyed
On it went – the music of life
Or as they say
The soundtrack of her life
From Ella Fitzgerald to Stevie Wonder
Luciano Pavarotti full volume in her tiny kitchen
And Elvis Presley, always Elvis
A rollercoaster of packages
Ups and down, good stuff, bad stuff
But always a gift to be found amongst
The string, the pretty twine and crinkled paper.
She’s lost her job –
The company has gone to London!
It’s 1985 she tries to play the music, to sing, to play the game
But it’s not easy
U2 Joshua Tree full volume –
She loves this as she drives her old car
She a temp for one week
They meet.
And then she hears
Nick Drake’s beautiful, melancholic voice
Sing “Northern Sky”
She opens the paper – this time the wrapping is The Guardian!
Her latest gift – this man loves her, he loves her.
Amazing Grace lifted high
What words, what an exultation
They all sing this together
What friends, friends are some of the very best
Of shared gifts. 
She guesses, as time passes,
She will now have fewer wrappings to undo
It’s been such an enormous parcel
This life parcel
So much music having played
But still she’s excited at the prospect of remaining layers
She’s got a wonderful cd – West meets East
Ravi Shankar on sitar
Yehudi Menuhin on violin
It was playing in her head, over and over
And June 2015
They made their way to beautiful Ynys Mon –
The island of Anglesey
She let the music stop awhile
She  opened her gift’s latest layer
She opened her eyes, opened her heart
Listened to the birdsong
What a gift – she asks herself does she deserve this?
That big, big night sky flung with stars
Those mountains,
That welcome, those waves clawing at the shore
Those fields, those winding lanes,
That ever-changing heaven and all its colours
What a jewel, what a gift.   
Gifts are there amongst the layers
Sometimes tiny ones
Sometimes vast.
Keep listening carefully to the music
Enjoy the rhythm of life
Untie the knots, peel away the wrapping
Gifts await us all
Sometimes big, sometimes small.

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