Late afternoons often found her sitting alone, still and straight. Her mind would travel years back in time, when the house was full of children’s laughs and echoing footfalls. In a flash, hours and days had molded into long years of cooking dinners, attending PTA meetings and finishing yet another load of laundry.
Now the house sat quiet, reminiscing of a din long gone. The children had moved out and her husband was indulging yet another hobby. One evening, a sliver of sunshine happened to escape the curtain’s stern guard. Through the dance of dust mites, she happened upon her reflection. Her eyes and her face told stories of the years gone by and the errands they had seen through.
There were no stories of her own. There was not even a hint of the flame that once shone bright in her eyes; it was extinguished long ago.
A muted glint from a hidden corner caught her attention – somehow her old ghungru* had managed to dapple in the last light of the setting sun. It had been so long she had seen them – she had almost forgotten how they felt tied at her ankles. With trembling fingers she handled them delicately, more precious than any gem in the world.
What if….? Dare she even dream…?
The next afternoon saw her tentatively clearing a space and dusting out her old dancing clothes. As her feet slowly became accustomed to the once-familiar weight of her ghungru, the years melted away and she fell into a rhythm that was as natural as breathing. On days when she was not at dance school, the curtains were firmly drawn back as she conducted personal concerts under the sunny spotlight.
She was not a daughter, a wife or a mother then. She was a dancer. She was an artist. She was her chosen form. She was blowing at the cool embers, re-kindling a fire that had almost blown out. It was never too late to spark it back!
Written for Sue’s prompt – Flame. I took it as a metaphor and ran away with it! Hope that is okay…
*Ghungru: is one of many small metallic bells strung together to form Ghungrus, a musical anklet tied to the feet of classical Indian dancers.