That word took on a whole different meaning once Golam turned it into a destructive obsession. Ok, he was consumed by greed. Like the worldly world. Love of money and all that. But I think me about the real meaning of that word and it plumped like a sclatch to my stomach after I spontaneously offered to drive 3 of my little grand-daughters through to the local town for an ice-cream and to deliver one, the eldest, back to her mama. I thought….here I am driving such a precious cargo on a switchback road with idiot tourists who have no reverse gear in their smart cars and, suddenly, I am aware of ‘precious’.
I was headed for a lip and eyebrow wax and tint. Not the lips but the eyebrows being as they are, curved ghosts above my eyes. We arrived early and found a parking space near the ice cream parlour, originally the public toilets but, thankfully no more, although those who hope for relief half ways around the curve of the Atlantic harbour town might think differently. Ice creamed up, we found an newly relieved bench overlooking the boats. Sailing boats, fishing boats, weirdo looking boats and commercial sea trip boats all bobbed or sailed or motored passed us as we all tried to help the 2 year old manage her fast melting cone. She had a lot to say which doesn’t help. About the shells and the fish and whatsthat of everything including purple-hearted jelly fish and upstanding kelp trees that shimmy in the tidal flow.
Once mopped up and back in the car, I strain my eyes to see if there was a space nearer to the salon. Och, we’ll just wing it, and we did and there is a god of parking opportunities because we found one just outside our destination. In we go, much to the aws and aahs of those within, with their hair in silver foil or their fingers extended for a rainbow nail touch up. Well, my grandchildren are stunners with their carrot red and strawberry blonde hair plus the fact that they, as little ones, are always so very precious to the community. I remember arriving here from Englandshire 40 years ago and marvelling at the adoration of little ones. Little ones came to absolutely everything, however late that everything ran into the night. It was, and is, the island way and my own children benefited from it on regular occasions. In the throwout far-flung places of the world true family includes community and nobody is an island. We are, at first, caught in the web of it, we might struggle to escape, but, eventually we can see the milk, bread and brandy of such a life, one where if you don’t decide to do something then it just won’t happen sort of life because when the storms hit, everyone turns for home and we, out here, must work our own way. I love it now. and this place isn’t even remote, not by remote island standards. We get our post every day, in the main, but I know of women running households where it isn’t just the post that doesn’t arrive, but essential supplies for family and beasts, and that, for a whole storm born winter.
So, we arrive at the salon. The only one on the island and born from a dream of a young girl who has turned her business into everyone else’s. Even the men come for a haircut, into the warm and welcoming easy-osy atmosphere. It’s like a hug. We snake into the little room, holding hands, the 2 year old nervous. I lie on the bed. you look tired Granny, says one. Just wait, I reply, I am about to be messed about with. Tint is applied to my brows and wax to my upper lip. Hahahahaha, the girls laugh. Granny, you look ridiculous! And so I do at this point, with purple wax across my face, and black eyebrows good enough for a goth. All the time, the woman with a dream chats to the little girls, still holding hands, as she puts me through a few ouch-ouchies. And, I am done. Ridiculous now? I ask. You look beautiful, they say. Well, that is wise, as I am the one driving them home.
Precious. Moments. Grandchildren. The trust of a mother who let me be spontaneous. Precious, this life, these times, this moment. Precious ‘not to be wasted or treated carelessly.’