On the Road

A road can be as long or short as our perspective of it.

Stretching on endlessly for miles or running out of path to tread before we know it.

Outside our home, the road was adjunct to playing space as we pushed prams full of dolls jostling within, roller-skated, hopscotched, twirled hoola-hoops, kicked, threw and caught a ball, hopped, skipped and jumped our way through childhood.

Only roads are potential death traps. I diced close once. Didn’t know when to stop and look around me





Dashing behind ice-cream van, frozen spearmint lolly sticky-glued to hand, lip licking in anticipation, eyes peeled on the path ahead but forgetting my “look left, right, then left again, cross safely” mantra…a screech of brakes, scream, shout…body inert, curled up corpse-like into the kerb, blue-tinged lips, still and silent.

Father watching motor racing on TV could feel a heart-lurch recognition of danger, squeal of tires, noise, beyond the confines of the living room. He scooped me up from the gutter..pebble-dashed with gravel, blue lights and siren hovering into view. I remember nothing of that.

Only light searing eyes too sensitive to bear. Screams from my own throat as a cold-fingered, cold-hearted nurse bent to inject me. Drifting away for a while..


My looseness saved me as I fell to the ground. Innate ability to sit heavy on lap, snuggle in close for comfort craved so much. Collapsing sack-like kept me from cracking. No bones broken. Only concussion and badly grazed, scraped torn skin that wept yellow into bandage.

Bruised pride. Clumsy old me. All of six years old. Tears leaking afresh at the sight of torn dress, ruined beyond repair.

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On another road…

Father at the wheel of a lurching truck that swayed and swooped along the highway. 
We sat in designated seats. Toss of coin for squabbling sisters.
I won the front row. She was assigned mid-stalls on the rickety orange-box crates that covered and cushioned served as space to squat. Illegal really. Under-age. Unsafe.
But he was under-the-thumb with mum, who wanted us out-of-her hair, out of sight, out of mind. So we roamed the warehouse as he stacked and packed. Forty miles to the first port of call.
We sat. Me gloating smugly, she grumbling sisterly. Nearly where we needed to be when the sky fell in, or at least the window did. 
Sudden smash…shiny shards of glass collecting in my lap, splintered dust-size fragments coating everything and everyone, though I caught the brunt of it.
 

A road stabbing painful, red-blooded, broken. Father found a way to bring healing

A local cafe. Familiar faces. Regular watering-hole for him. 
We were clucked over, embraced gingerly, checked, cleaned, Savlon smeared, plastered up where necessary. Only tiny slivers. Don’t worry. No real damage done.
It doesn’t take much to splinter a life – a road can end as abruptly as it began
Memories: of warmth, care, soft drinks, sausage, eggs, bean and chips to comfort us, other children (her own), TV, outside play space, getting weary with waiting for the truck to trundle by and take us home.

Safe in Father’s arms as we journey home

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Roads can be dangerous places. Not all lead to Rome, romance, riches or restful lives

Travelling smooth until catastrophe strikes, chaos comes, circumstances collide.

Skies are stormy yet light still lingers in the distance, giving us hope of seeing change.

In taking the Road Less Travelled we experience problems, pain and hardship.
Accidents can derail us. Calamities come and we fall by wayside.
It’s not a scenic route unless we learn to stop and enjoy the views.
The road ahead may be long, arduous and hard to climb, taking all our breath.
It narrows and constricts our fleshly desires then opens into a glorious vista of freedom.
The more we seek the Light, the more we see the way ahead.
Better to be on it than wayside dwellers, ease and comfort seekers who delve shallow and come up empty.
Better to seek His shelter than hide ourselves in gutter living.
In surrendering all to God we have a constant Companion on our journey.
Outpoured blood marks the path. Outpoured grace lights the way. Outpoured life leads us Home safe at last.
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Linking here (later than intended due to laptop failure) with the lovely Nacole at sixinthesticks for Concrete Words. It’s where we seek to write out the abstract with a concrete word prompt. This week’s was ‘The Road’. Do hop over and read the great posts there and add your own. 
                                                                                                        
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6 thoughts on “On the Road”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post Joy, so much so that I read it twice lol

    I feel like Iv'e just read a prelude to a book and very much want to hear the rest of the story!

    I could see those two sisters as clearly as I might have done if I had been stood on the roadside observing 🙂

    God bless you, I look forward to the next installment X

    1. Thanks, Kimmie. These concrete words posts are turning into an exercise in memoir writing by default! It's strange how a one word prompt gets the mind ticking over. So pleased you enjoyed it, my friend 🙂 xx

  2. Joy, I was captivated by the first two parts where you so vividly described these two events that happened to you. Wow, powerful. I especially loved this:
    "Dashing behind ice-cream van, frozen spearmint lolly sticky-glued to hand, lip licking in anticipation, eyes peeled on the path ahead but forgetting my "look left, right, then left again, cross safely" mantra.." And then as you describe your small self blue and lifeless, and father scooping you up, oh, I *saw* you sister, I can see you in that moment, you put me right in the story. And my heart stopped, aching for you. Excellent writing on the concrete! Thanks for linking up! Hope to see you again soon–Monday the prompt is the Frame:)

    1. Hi Nacole. Thank you very much for this lovely, encouraging comment! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. It's a privilege to link up and read the wonderful posts (yours included) that are all so different from the same simple prompt. I look forward to linking up again as inspiration comes! Bless you 🙂 xx

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