• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 09

That most precious gift…Time

Like the traffic, I paused my journey, as a heartbreaking sound caught my ear. I looked and spied a women singing out loud her soul. Such despair and desperation, such heart rendering blues. I needed to help her, to see, to ask, to offer, what for her could I do.

I walked across, bent down, peered in, offered her time, a willing ear.

The woman’s voice it faltered, it quavered and it shook. No-one else, she said had noticed, no-one else had thought to look. As she sniffed and gulped and snuffled, blew her nose and wiped her eyes. I offered her a tissue, and patted her face dry.

As I touched her cheek, I offered her my help, a number, and a name.

The woman she cried harder, I’d unlocked her inner pain. Listening to her every word, I set my sights and ignored the growling of the traffic. The woman sung of an upturned world, of loneliness, of misery, of pain. Of how she had no confidence, felt thick, felt stupid, worthless, a clown.

I offered her my home, an ear, biscuits, a cup of tea, and a place to be.

First shocked to silence, she looked long at me, before taking my address. I made first the tea I’d promised, I listened to her woes. When she was all run out of words I said, if you want it, this is how it could go. I’ve a spare room, I’ve a shower, I’ve warm towels, thick pyjamas, clothes.

The woman looked at me once more saw kindness, said ‘Yes’

She stayed, and stays with me still, two years ago today. Ceasing to be an object the instant she shared her name. Shared her story, shared her life, became a friend, set straight her life. Importantly she began to sing, songs of love, of warmth, songs of joy, songs celebrating life.

As she sings, I whisper underneath my breath time well spent.