We are running, helter-skelter through the woods; my sister and I, she is eight, I am ten. Our legs can barely carry us as we race through bracken and brambles, laughing with a joy infectiously, uncontrollably alive.
‘Be careful!’ our gran calls, afraid that we will tumble and break.
It was one of her favourite stories; one she told everyone who’d listen. She loved the ending, the boy who looked back at the steep, bluebell filled woods and smiled with wonder, ‘The bluebells are as blue as the sky.’
Even now, as I picture the beautiful bluebells, I smile, thinking of my sister roaring with laughter both fearful and free and I feel sad for the little boy whose words, belied a sensitivity that was forced to hide for far too long.
© Jack Leonard 2021