CANNOCK CHASE FOREST, STAFFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND
Millie: “Oh my Goodness, it is so perfect”.
I was walking slightly behind in the forest, so although I heard the words, I wasn’t entirely sure what the object of desire was.
Me: “What Mils?”
Arms out-stretched, face looking extremely proud. The common grey pebble in the palm of my niece’s delicate, 7-year old palm.
Me: “Wow, that is soooo beautiful.”
The foregoing was said with slight insincerity, but smiling, I didn’t let it show. A child would never pick up on the slight disingenuous tone. I then put it in my old green jacket pocket. Along with the crumpled tissue; sweet wrapper and sandy lip balm. > Question, how does lip balm always get sandy?<
AT HOME, 1 MONTH LATER – SATURDAY MORNING
I just need to find £2.75 in loose change from various locations around the house so that I can pop to the French coffee shop next door for a large extra-hot latte (I literally mean 2 doors away from our apartment block). I have managed to collate £1.75. Surely there must be one pound somewhere?
I then remember my old green jacket. I put it on the peg on the back of the study door when I came back from my sister’s house last time we visited. I am not really sure why I put it there? I don’t usually. Odd.
But I am sure there is a five pound note in the pocket? And I am also sure I went to the cash machine the morning we left? So I stick my hand in.
What’s that? Weird.
And that is when I pulled it out. The pebble.
Except that this time, it isn’t just a grey pebble.
This time, it is precious. And I see it with the wonder of beautiful 7-year old eyes. This time I cannot imagine seeing a rock-form more gorgeous. It was breathtaking enough to stop a child in her steps. And now, when I see it, all I see is Mille’s delicately beautiful face. All I hear is her voice.
And that is why it is there. On the bookcase in our study.
And I see it most days and smile at its beauty.
Thank you Millie for making that grey pebble into a thing of beauty.