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130 years ago

March 19, 2016

On the 19th March 1886 my maternal grandmother was born. My mother used to tell me stories of her own childhood, and stories that her parents had told her of their childhood. In time, such little, personal stories become lost. On the world stage they are insignificant. Even within a family history they are forgotten. As a writer, it’s my privilege to preserve such stories from time to time. For me, it is such everyday human stories that bring history to life, the universal experiences that could happen as easily today as hundreds or even thousands of years ago. This story from my grandmother’s childhood dates back to the late 1880s, when my grandma would have been aged about two. (She’s older than that in the photo below, of course.)

© Celia Warren 2016

photos © Celia Warren 2016

 

compass jellyfish © Celia Warren 2016

 

 

 

Summer 1888

When my grandma was two, so they told me,
a little Victorian girl,
she played on the beach at the seaside
and watched the seagulls whirl.

She dug in the sand for hours,
with her simple wooden spade,
and collected sea in a bucket
for the castle-moat she’d made.

Her little bare feet found softness,
a smooth and gentle squish …
but her squeal of delight turned to tears:
she was standing on jellyfish!

So many stories they told us,
of ancestors, now long gone.
Many are lost and forgotten,
but my grandma’s tale lives on.

© Celia Warren 2016

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2016 08,04,16

    You wouldn’t forget that in a hurry!

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