Saturday, May 24, 2014
"Have you ever been in love?"
"Oh yes." she replied. "Seven times, from first to last. And I can tell you, that unlike the tick of a clock nothing can be predicted in such affairs but the rapture and sorrow of your first and last kiss."
Dorothy was a spinster for some time. It says so on certificate, right in the spot that lists her occupation, pre-domestic coercion. I like to think that as her granddaughter we might now have indulged in conversations about romance, had she still been alive. She might've told me about the occasion in which two seperate suitors rode on horseback to her family property to escort her to the same dance. We might have discussed too, the impact of war on her young family, and of the tension of those days that lead into weeks that lead into years. Maybe I could've gained a greater perspective on life's commitments and regrets. I would beg to talk about each year, without any blanks, to congratulate her not just on her life as a wife and a mother, but on those experiences that she hid away from the limiting opinion of others.
Through the instinctive eyes of a child, her marriage to my grandfather was like a perennial winter. On more than one occasion he showed up at my family home unannounced, some three and a half thousand kilometres away from her, having driven all the way from Melbourne to Perth on a whim. No one ever asked him why he felt the need to escape her, and only in retrospect can I imagine how she felt as he 'left for milk,' failing to return for a fortnight or more, and with empty hands raised in demand of roasted meal.
~To be continued.