Prelude - Time
In an unguarded moment
it felt like it was raining roses
then they cut me
Bandon, West Cork, Ireland 1956
I watch her as she moves about the room, pride in every step, and elegance in every turn and my heart stirs with love and joy. I devour her essence as she dances around the floor as light as a butterfly’s wing and my soul smiles at the wonder of her. A constant whirlwind of motion and sound and then there’s the rare quiet time, the signalling of the onset of a tantrum. There are less of those the older she gets. She’s girly, mostly sunny but sometimes stormy. The bigger the dress the more spins she enjoys. The only thing that matters to her at that moment is the way the dress moves, the way the sparkles glisten, the swishy-swishy sound the material makes against her legs. She is unstoppable. It’s a moment I want to bottle. Pure, her just being a little girl loving her girly dress. When she laughs my heart giggles in harmony.
Twirling, whirling beauty
Such a little cutie
She is so very small, but beautiful. I cannot recognize a lot of him in her, yet there are times, I visualize him in her expressions, most often when she is displeased and having a tantrum, as I would not describe him as having a sunny disposition. Her forehead wrinkles and her eyes squint and it is in those moments that I see any significant resemblance.
The black parasol matches her mood
anger her soul’s food
disappointment seeps from her pores
chasing dreams has become a chore
She has mannerisms all her own though, flamboyant and expressive hand movements come naturally to her. Some days she’s a formidable force I could see being the Snow Queen, her kingdom would be a land of high drama. On others, she’s the blond-haired girl who is a goofball, adorable and lovable a Shirley Temple-type who smothered you with love. Every day is a performance, and Rosa being an entertainer loves to put on a show. I am so glad she loves the performing I would hate to think she did it for the sole purpose of pleasing George and Nanny. Rosalind will never be alone when alone. With all the characters she talks to daily, in her brain a repeated refrain watching her converse with them eases my pain. The only time she may feel lonely is in a crowded room. Rosalind is a complete firecracker, sparks flying everywhere, she deserves to be able to add a twinkle and a sparkle to peoples eyes and smile, a reflection of what they see in her. It’s a tragedy they don’t get to see her as she’s brilliant, a wonderful, engaging, instinctual presence.
In the land of make-believe, I’ve been told
A beautiful princess doth dwell, oh tell
It is not for me to inform, not so bold
by all accounts she’s a damsel, so swell
Oh, her skin so fair could be transparent
the countenance of a mischievous child
the narrator of this tale, love apparent
Obvious, the enchanting girl has me beguiled
She, I imagine, will become an artist of some sort; she has a theatrical heart and soul if it wasn’t naturally the way she was, her environment has certainly molded her as such allowing her imaginative and creative side to flourish. She loves to draw and play fancy dress; the brighter the color the better and dresses that twirl out when you spin are always at the top of her favorites list. Sparkles are never out of place in her presence. She often announced that she wanted to be a princess-doctor when she grew up. Wearing a surgical gown and a mask or her stethoscope and white coat Rosa would give Nanny detailed examinations from her head to her toes.
Today she was wearing her genie outfit complete with her own lamp. It was often akin to meeting a mysterious garden faerie at times. As a child, I don’t remember glimpses of fairies or trolls, and seahorses or prettily decorated horned unicorns didn’t appear in my dreams but they stampede through Rosa’s, often while she’s fully awake.
In fact, I think she may when she’s out of here and able to shop for herself, she may want to dress like them. I imagine her as a wearer of flamboyant and outlandish fashion which will probably not cause a lifted eyebrow with the theatrical crowd I envision being in her company. Quick-witted and vivacious, she could captivate any audience with compelling stories from her dazzling imagination. My dear Rosalind certainly has the gift of the gab and the soul of a seanchaí. So tragic and ironic that abuse can create a poet, actress, and painter, and yet darkens a shining star. She also has a ton of dolls, Rosalind would often create dizzying narratives for them. Her conviction at times had no limits. Nanny as always encourages it, they’re a blank canvas on which she can project anything she wants. Nanny doesn’t like the Russian Dolls though and always opens and lines them up putting the little one first in front of the tallest, said she doesn’t like it when their complete as she feels the little one is suppressed. Rosalind asked her what suppressed meant and Nanny said not to mind her she’s just being silly.
A myriad of emotions
stream across her face
imagination creates her space
Rosalind can add drama to any situation. When she wants, she can be the funniest person with an infectious laugh, some would call it the type of laugh that sounds dirty even when doing the shopping list, it seems strange to make that comparison about someone so young, but it is true. It will probably be what she is most known for someday. Her smile brings unequalled light to me and always touches my heart, aforementioned smile or lack of it is always on her terms. Another reminder of him, because when he wants, he has a certain roguish charm, I bet many a lady he has disarmed in his day when the mood takes him, he can beguile with a smile. Back to Rosalind I have seen her summoning her maid to the castle she has made from her bedclothes, asking her to fix her hair and make her bed, in an entitled tone, a tone that also reminds me of him, she looks like she is dressed in an opera cloak of some sort. She had a bell at one stage for this task, but I think it was secreted somewhere after a day of constant ringing for the maid. George bought knitting needles for them once I assume thinking they could learn how to make our own clothes; Nanny hated the task and got no enjoyment from it whatsoever. Those needles conveniently disappeared down the same hole as the summoning bell, wherever it is though I don’t know. I heard Nanny telling George and Rosalind that it may be the lady Rosalind keeps talking about. I am apparently sometimes useful.
Nanny, being the said maid, I have seen ordered about and placed in all sorts of weird and wonderful positions. She does so willingly, always, I am grateful every day for Nanny. Ever since Rosalind was a baby and she’d whisper her a soft lullaby and hold her head up high. She’d blow gently on her crinkled brow until Rosalind’s eyes would start slowly closing, it worked every time. She lays her on her chest knowing that her breathing soothed her best, humming sweetly all the while, placing her down with a smile.
Babies are a connection between angel and man
brightening your day as only they can
a baby proves that life should go on
their smile bringing a brand-new dawn
they touch the world with love
a special gift sent from above
their life’s precious treasure
there worth you can’t measure
they bring you years of pleasure
She’d then accomplish necessary chores, happily accompanied by reassuring snores. It used to make me so jealous. She still cares for her so lovingly today. A sheet and pillows spread across two chairs become either a pillow fort/tent or a moat depending on Rosalind’s whim of the day. A precocious madam, but oh so sweet with it, I love her so much but must let her go. It is now time; I must prove my love for her by losing her. I will miss her so.
This place is too dark for her it holds too many secrets; she is too young a soul to be made act so old. Nanny has done all she has been able to in difficult and unusual circumstances. She has kept things as normal as possible. I love her writing rhymes and encouraging Rosalind to add to them and sing and recite along. The way Nanny can make music, poem, dance and singing interesting every day constantly trying another fashion or form is amazing. Nanny and I will always want Rosalind to be the star of the show, not the backing group. They adore each other. I again feel a pang of envy, but it is something I must get over. There are things I have no ability to change and Rosalind is much better with Nanny than without. So tragic and ironic that abuse can create a poet, writer, and yet darkens a shining star.
Nanny and Rosalind see the wonder of a fairy tale
the midnight trysts of the snail
with the uncontrollable curl
the laughter of the whale
the hammer being hit by the nail
The elephant afraid of the mouse
the cuckoo burgling a house
the old woman who lived in a shoe
the ghost who couldn’t say boo
the butcher who didn’t eat meat
the giraffe who hated the smell of his feet
The hyena whose laughter was like a drumbeat
the pig who greeted the wolf with a treat
the boy who was all sugar and spice
the girl that wasn’t very nice
the anteater who didn’t eat ants
the day Donald Duck forgot his pants
These thoughts made me giggle; they give my funny bone a tickle. On days when the muse is silent, I have seen Nanny resort to alliteration, one of my favourites they have penned together is about animals, it made Nanny and Rosalind laugh out loud when they acted out the actions, how I love that sound I also laughed but they couldn’t hear me –
Flipping frogs flying
Crazy crows cawing
Noisy nags neighing
Racing Rats running
Pesky parrots parroting
Dizzy dogs dancing
Busy bees buzzing
Lazy llamas lazing
Angry apes arguing
Odd owls ogling
Extravagant emus eloping
Slimy slugs slithering
Wandering worms wriggling
Jaunty jays jumping
Testy tigers thundering
Grumpy giraffes grazing
All animals are amazing -
Ah, she has jumped up, what has caught her attention? Of course, he is on his way. No matter what he does or says she will always love him.
The wistful gaze of the child
thoughts so pure actions mild
untainted by life’s cruelty
lost in innocent revelry
A long time ago, I used to feel the same for him. How things and people change over time. I will always watch over her, but in future from afar, without her knowing, as it is meant to be.