Virtual sands of time


It is the twilight hour. I stand on the balcony and observe the world outside. The world is slowly being enveloped in the dark purple of night. I turn around and look indoors. Warm yellow light fills our living room. My husband is on a work-related call, my son is finishing up his homework and my daughter is attending classes in her room.

The dining table is set for dinner. I wait patiently for all of them to log off from their virtual lives and log in to family time.

With all family members at home all the time, there is a false feeling that we are spending a lot of time with each other. In fact, we walk around the house leading our own lives, not engaging in quality family time.

I think back to the family holidays we took before the pandemic. Whenever we went to a beach, we would all imprint our footprints on partially wet sand, along with the date. A simple, cute memory of lovely times spent with family. There are many such pictures of our footprints on the sands of time. And just after we took those pictures, the waves would come and wash them away, and we would run back laughing.

How things have changed!

I head back in. All of us are done for the day. We head to the dining table to eat.

And just after dinner, and before everyone slinks away, I order a family hug. My teens react with incredulous looks and awkward smiles. They ask if a hug is really required. I insist. And the four of us gather around for a family hug. We fall into a beautiful silence. That hug, just 10 seconds long, rejuvenates all of us, though the kids will never admit it.

No footprints on the sands for now, but the hug will do quite nicely till then.

A moment in time…


Recently, as I browsed through my digital photo archives, I came across this picture of my son, when he has 3 years old.

I still remember – it was a cold, windy day, and we were on a windmill farm in The Netherlands.

My husband and I stood transfixed by the old windmill, but my son was mesmerised by this beautiful duck that waddled across the grass. 

My son got his arms together and imitated the duck’s waddling as he followed the bird, making a ‘quack’, ‘quack’ sound with his mouth.

Seeing this photograph brought back memories of that holiday, and memories of the little boy that my son was then, whose day was made by that little duck.

How time flies! When I showed him the picture, his eyes grew big, and he asked, “Is that really what I did?

A simple moment in time. A moment that can never be replaced. A moment when a three year old followed a duck.

There’s no place like home


So, after a month-long holiday we are back home – with huge suitcases and many, many bags of crazy shopping,  great memories and thousands of photographs.

We lug all the bags up the lift. When we finally turn the key in the lock, that wonderful smell of ‘home’ makes us close our eyes in bliss. Yay, we are home!

We are a little weary from all the travelling, eating, shopping and over eating. We are jet-lagged, and like electric bulbs going off, the children drop-off into nodland.

I open the windows and let fresh air breeze through the house. I take a few more deep breaths of ‘home’.

I smell my favourite cypress freshner, a little bit of the prayer incense and the fragrance of our home, that is so unique to it – made up of all the things that are in it and that make it what it is.

There’a a bit of ‘weary’ in me as I mull over all the things I will have to do, starting from cleaning the house and stocking-up on supplies, and changing the sheets and getting ready for school and holiday homework and the  hundreds of small things that will need doing.

This is the flip-side of the ‘being away the whole month’ coin.

And the unpacking! How could I forget that!

But, believe me, it feels great to be back, and to sit on the couch and dream about the holiday.

My eyes droop but I cannot indulge myself – here, at home, the buck stops with me.  I need a super-size caffeine shot to get me going. I make myself some extra-strong filter coffee. I amble back to the couch.

I relish every drop as long as I can, for I know that the moment the coffee mug gets empty, I’m on duty………till the next holiday.

But seriously, there’s no place like home.