by Maggie Scout

‘If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is; Infinite.  For the man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern’ ~ William Blake

When the time came Maggie was more than happy to be stepping down from the bus and waving thanks to the cheery driver as he reversed and drove off.  This shopping trip had lasted a liftetime and Jan’s effervescence and indecision left Maggie weary of stumulus, of vibrancy and zingy Jan-like things!

Too many choices.  Too little time.  Too much chat.  Too little planning.  Not enough focus on the clock quite frankly.

But she wasn’t cross, just tired, and a smile touched her lips as she observed her best friend.  Her practiced posture and obligatory high heels stubbornly uncompromised despite being on her feet all day and she wondered how on earth she did it. There really was no stopping her. Maggie had always admired her, always a little in awe of the intensity she displayed for life. It appeared that every second of every day she looked for opportunities to be happy, choosing to embrace rather than doubt or caution, thankful for the abundant gifts and relishing the challenges.  Harmonious and happy.  Simply Jan.

She wished she was more like her.

But Jan was also insightful and knew she’d pushed Maggie’s patience beyond the limit today … procrastination and girlie nonsense, excitement and the desire to have fun. And she knew, absolutely without doubt, that the new champagne bar suggestion had been the last straw!  Maggie was patient but she was no walkover.  Indeed she was more than capable of surprising people and shattering their perceptions. Maggie: smart, honest, beautiful, grounded, with a steely determination for justice.  An enigma that captured attention.  She was the friend you’d want most in your life and on your side.

She wished she was more like her.

The morning sunshine had long since gone, predictably replaced by dark clouds rolling in across the sea and in the distance they could see boats bobbing in the water, their sails rippling.  No wonder the natives were obsessed with the weather.  The wind was gathering speed as they walked briskly towards the high street and in unison they buttoned jackets and pulled up collars.  The bright bags flapped and struggled for freedom.

The end of another summer.

When are you going to be able to wear all this … stuff?!

Jan made a funny face and stuck out her tongue. Holidays need new things Maggie!  If you weren’t so stubborn you could still come.

As they headed for Golly Gosh, Maggie played out the scenario in her head.  It would be how it always is.

The room would light up because, suddenly, Jan had arrived and everyone loved her.  Maggie would order while Jan showed off every item of clothing with an exaggerated pose then a discussion on the topic of holidays and crash diets would ensue. Her excitement would ignite everyone else’s and there would be requests for more drinks and probably extra helpings of Alice’s to die for Victoria sponge and everyone would agree that the healthy eating plan could start on Monday. They’d ask Maggie if she was going too and she’d make up some excuse or other to satisfy their curiosity. It was all a game and everyone knew to play it.

After a year, the goodwill of people encouraging her to get a life was beginning to slightly irritate. Give it time they said and continued to say when they couldn’t think of anything else to say. She knew they meant well and appreciated their kindness.  She knew but for these people she’d never have made it in one piece.  But.  Honestly.  Sometimes saying nothing was better.

She knew she was stronger.  Resilient.  Ready.

An anticipation growing in the new knowledge that life was better, brighter, sacred and that happiness would come if she let it.

If she dared believe; limitless.