Wednesday, May 30, 2012

10) Vulnerabilty and Valor

Two remarkable stories that overlap in very different parts of the world have my senses awake at this pitch dark 3:00 am Australian juncture of my continuing journey. The death of husbands for both protagonists, the paying for and organizing of families to go on far-flung sea voyages, and the vulnerability of being robbed, of losing family heirlooms, and the valor of facing into the burglary with grit and determination stirs my imagination. Like 'fate' as a word in a crossword clue (a game which My Lady Nancy loves) the kismet of these two tales has me marveling at the coincidences in our lives. Linda came for tea. Nancy's oldest daughter, it was she who had made and delivered the delicious shepherds pie as a welcome dinner for me the night before. Now, as we sat around the kitchen table with South African Rooibos tea and Scottish shortbread and Australian chocolate chip cookies, we swapped stories. Older than me by five years, Linda is casually elegant, naturally beautiful without adornment or affectation, and wears her years like a thirty-five year old. This sprightliness of being appears to be genetic in the Sinclair family. Nancy moves in the kitchen and about the house with the grace and ease of a girl, not a ninety year old, and Fiona, second daughter in line who had handled my luggage and got me settled into the cottage, had impressed me with her vibrancy too. In their warmth and immediate friendship one feels so very welcome. But the burglar certainly didn't feel welcome. Earlier, Nancy had told me during our day together about taking a six month around the world journey to see family and friends and to get over her deep grief at the loss of Denys, her beloved husband, back in 1987. She'd organized the trip herself, taken care of all the details of bookings and arrangements. So too had my friend Jessie, I thought, but did not say anything. After Jessie's beloved husband, Vic's death, she had taken thirteen members of her family on an all expenses paid Alaskan cruise. At the time of Nancy's story it did not appear prudent to interject. But now, here with Linda at tea, we were speaking of keeping Nancy's place secure whenever she's away, let alone inside! "I'd gone out into the garden, came back inside, and found this strange man at the end of the corridor, at my front door. Hello, what're you doing here?" Nancy related. "How did you get in? He gestured back at the door I'd just come through. Then you can leave the same way, I yelled, and charged at him by going through the lounge and then around and got behind him and actually shoved him in the back and he tripped over this down-step into the kitchen here and so I kicked him in the backside and he left in a hurry, I tell you! Then I went and locked myself in my room and phoned the police. But when I looked around I found all my jewelry gone, my mother's heirlooms, irreplaceable." And then I told them of Jessie's daughter, Sharon, while still on their cruise finding out that their house had been burgled, and that she'd lost her irreplaceable jewelry too, and yet Sharon and Ken kept the news to themselves, lest they spoil the family holiday. Vulnerability and valor. Wow! Yet may such a crossover event never be our kismet too!

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