Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Outside the meeting to cover the Dos and Don’ts of volunteering at the asylum seekers center, I feel an urge to dash away. I am always terrified at the thought of something new, an odd daily battle for someone who left her job to live in a foreign country.
The eight-year-old Chechnyan boy has a Mohawk mullet. We make eye contact before the meeting begins. He looks like my brother. I grin and he hides his face. He’s seated at the table along with three other children.
Another boy wears a New York Yankees cap. “Yankees?” I whisper, “You like baseball?”
He seems surprised: “No.”
As the director begins speaking, the Chechnyan boy rests his elbows and the table and clasps his hands like he is praying before a meal. He catches my attention again and giggles silently. He’s wearing a black button up shirt with a black four-button vest over it. He cups his hands in front of his mouth and keeps smiling, meeting my eyes, and hiding his grin. I should be listening to the rules, as I’m naturally rule-abiding–but as one who is naturally rule-abiding, I feel I’ll just know.
The boy blinks at me again and we both laugh at something no one else notices. I forget that I am supposed to be one of the grown ups. My mind is climbing to gratitude, and how my little brother also has such a spirit and impish grin, and how we had the same home and phone number for our whole lives. How we could stay in one place, and how this boy had to flee, and yet the smile was the same. How we are in ourselves something immovable and portable and resilient.
another beautiful portrait of a moment. you capture the details exquisitely.
I’m so glad I took notes on the U-Bahn ride home. As soon as I saw this bit in my notebook, I remembered this boy’s adorable shyness!
I just do’t know where you conjured up the ability to write the way you do, I’m in awe! I really love reading your posts, I’d enjoy a book, too.
Oh wow! Maybe a book should be my 2013 project (how often that’s been a resolution…) Thanks so much, Mrs. Seashells! 🙂 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
You have captured the moment, the top photo is so interesting with the house. Can I ask what made you decide to volunteer there? Are you a Counsellor or Nurse by trade?
I knew a photo of that odd house on the museum would come in handy one day! 🙂
I had a colleague who said they were looking for volunteers, and I just loved it. I was there to help with English lessons. I didn’t work with the children, but with a wonderful young man from Sierra Leone.
I’ve run out of compliments for your posts….I swear 🙂 love it
🙂 Thanks for the continued moral support!
You have been nominated for the Sunshine Award! http://wp.me/p2ppTK-cY
If awards aren’t your thing, that’s okay. You are under no obligation to pass it on. Just know that your words have been an inspiration to me on my blogging journey.
Beautiful, evocative writing. Thanks for the inspiration– and for the follow so I could find you. may your path be sprinkled (generously) with love.
Back at you! Thanks! May this be the beginning of a beautiful blog-ship! 🙂
Yay, that sounds lovely, thanks! Also, have you seen the documentary “Happy?” When I read your post “Happy” it reminded me of the one I’d written (and forgotten about….) inspired by the wonderful film about happiness. Given your love of travel and the radiant vibe of your blog, I wanted to be sure to mention it. See you soon. Peace