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Rated: E · Prose · Contest Entry · #2243175
...snippets from a lifetime. The Writer's Cramp contest Jan 31 2021
Some quiet evenings, or more truly, wee small hours of the new day, way before the sun plans to peep over the horizon, I find myself reminiscing about Life as I wait for my creativity to crowd out all else, as it so often does. Many authors speak of their muse who visits them... too regularly for some, whilst remaining absent for long, painful times for others. There are authors who have longed for her company and mysterious powers to set pen a-quiver, or keyboard a-tapping; while others find her the strictest of taskmasters (or mistresses?) and are filled with dread as they imagine a whip cracking and a burden weighing heavily upon their shoulders.

I don't have an awareness of a muse. What I do have is an inner child I've only begun recognising and gaining understanding of in recent times. I call her MICA and she is the core of the foundation of all that I am today, and all I strive for in my tomorrows. Many of the anonymous they's of our world advise to never look back… only forward. I find this so-called truism more trivial than truthful… for myself, and I suspect, many others, as well. My small MICA reminds me of many past moments—an eclectic range from deepest sadness to ultimate joy. I see no problem with this, surely reflecting all that is Life.

This precious inner child has ensured I faithfully followed the path to the yesterday she sets before me, knowing my total trust in there being lessons to revisit and learn, wearing the wiser eyes and heart of maturity. She opened a kaleidoscope of images crowding each other like a 'flash dance' mob scene, capturing my heart and delighting my senses as those gorgeous and talented groups always do. How to pin down just one? And yet, the most quiet and awe-inspiring one of all suddenly took prominence.

It was the first of our many road trips across the great Nullarbor Plain of Australia and I'd been doing my stint of driving for more than the agreed time. Stepping out of the car for that desperately needed stretch of near-paralysed muscles and joints, and with the headlights turned off to further the relaxation, I became fully aware of the vastness of the dome above. How many million stars surrounded me? Had I really and truly EVER seen a greater exhibition of their magnitude? Easy answer… a resounding 'NO'. Reluctantly (and briefly) lowering my vision to ground level, the inky blackness was overwhelming in its contrast, surely THE 'Black Hole' of the desert?

MICA wasn't about to leave me there. She had another memory to nudge, another place of ultimate night-time darkness, with occasionally illuminated patches of unearthly, luminous green. In this memory she took me into the woods, as some call them. In our 'neck of the woods', we call them commercial Pine forests, that happen to be open and available for the public to explore and enjoy (as many dog-walkers, loving the safety factor, could tell you). But… 'patches of unearthly, luminous green', you ask? It's the rare 'Ghost Mushrooms' that mysteriously appear in great clumps for a short span of one or two months in each year, various conditions being correct. From when I first heard of their startling light, I was totally bewitched and besotted. Now they have become such a sought-after experience, night tours have been arranged and must be booked in advance. Will you understand and forgive me for not regretting we saw these treasures before they became SO famous?

Then, to bring me down from all my loftier, whimsical and mystifying thoughts, MICA causes great gushers of thoughts, and albums of pictures to flit through my poor, overladen brain (don't tell anyone, but I'm loving every minute of this journey. It's why I welcome her… regularly). Once again, I picture being midwife to one dog, more than a few cows, a horse, a cat… and it's yesterday and I'm raising orphaned kangaroos, and pigs, lambs, calves… even emus! Down to earth stuff, indeed—encompassing much joy and occasional deepest of sorrow. Whatever the outcome, I wouldn't swap those experiences for the world. And MICA reminds me to remember.

Do you see now, why I value my inner child so highly? Why I can finally walk away from my computer and be totally content to curl up in my gorgeous rocker/recliner chair; favourite crocheted rug draped over my legs and my darling cat on my lap; the smoothest of music playing… and dream. First, the 'day' variety (there could be a story in this) and then softly drifting away into the sweetest of night delights (Shhh! Later!).

(780 words)
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