The school bell rings and no matter what fun or drama I faced in school that day, as I packed up my bag, put on my coat and walked out the gates to either cycle or catch the bus home, my day was over.
Putting my key in the front door and entering my childhood home to the smell of my mothers cooking or catching the door in the lino runner lain down for the impending coal man’s delivery ,my day was over.
Sitting down on the couch after dinner watching television or lying on my bed in my room making mixed tapes, my day was over.
The landline rings and it’s a friend up the road, we chat for a little while, they’ve rang because we are real friends, I end the call happy and my day is over.
When I lie down that night with a book before I go to sleep the only glow is the glow from my lamp which enables me to read, I slip into a peaceful sleep.
The alarm rings and my day begins again. I have had time out surrounded by those who love me and whom I love. I may not always show it, being a typical teenager but I am happy, I feel safe. Regardless of whether I have nothing more ahead that sighing at the thoughts of a day of lessons, or dreading facing a friend I have fallen out with, I have been able to a certain degree,switch off.
Fast forward to 2018, I am a mother to nearly four-year old twins and I am scared. I am scared for their future. I am scared for the young of today. We live in an always on world. Teachers struggle in the classroom to be heard over the pocket vibrations, whilst some pupils cannot even seek peace in a once safe place. Their worlds revolve around a front facing camera, with those who are vulnerable in a position where there is little down time. I am not saying that growing up was any easier in the eighties, but there appears to be an innocence lost in this era. I hear horror stories of children harming children in schools where the teachers are as helpless as the pupils. I hear of teenagers filming each other and sending these videos out to to the world to view, never thinking of the trail of destruction this can leave behind. I hear of bullying to the point where a child feels the only way out is a permanent out where they leave behind a trail of heartbreak. My own heart aches with the thought that no matter how much I want to protect my children that I cannot and nor should I wrap them in bubble wrap and shelter them.
I live in a city with a river running through it. I live near the banks of this wide-spreading river for the last ten years. It is late, people are winding down. Pyjamas are on, cuddles have been given, words have been exchanged, some full of love, some full of anger. Some never talk ,words go unspoken. I hear a humming. Silent words have created this hum, it gets louder as it approaches our home, louder still, bringing with it a sense of foreboding. My mind automatically jumps to the only conclusion it can.
One soul has lost their way in the world.
The whirring sounds I am sad to say have become more regular over time. Thick stone bridges, murky waters.Thick stone bridges and murky waters are searched whilst, hearts of loved ones and strangers grow heavier at each passing.
Everyone is loved, everyone needs to be listened to and everyone needs to know there is always someone,somewhere, ready and willing to listen. No-one should end up alone.