Lorna’s Wisdom, A Silent Gift

As writers we use words, to create images, feelings, and experiences in the consciousness of our readers. It is largely a silent pursuit. We don’t really talk our books although we may read sections at times.

Gathering information, observing and finding inspiration too arise in solitude; the writer, tea and the computer. This is the third part of a series of posts, titled, “Lorna’s Wisdom.” Luckily Lorna walked down the road into my life again just a few days ago.


As an older woman, she shared with so many others, the pain of recent bereavement. Her husband’s health slowly ebbed away and over a couple of years. The worry transformed her. Physically she began to age, care worn creases etching deeply into her face.

Her smile remained constant, as did her exercise routine, love of her dog and commitment to her garden. If I looked from afar, I would have seen a status quo but in her face ageing reflected inner battles for acceptance and peace.

When her partner of many years died, she continued despite the pain,endless reminders and inertia. It still looked like hard work to me, the internal struggle awash in the unpredictability of grief. Realizing a dream she bought a van and intending to travel north.

Australia is a large country and I admit my first reaction to be concern. Our subsequent discussion affirmed that she understood the dangers and her vulnerability, an older lady travelling alone, in a caravan along endless stretches of inland highways.

Walking past her house on my way to the beach I kept tabs on the van. Each time I wondered, would it be there? And it remained there parked in her driveway with the four wheel drive attached. Secretly I felt a tinge of relief.

As Lorna walked towards me, I noticed that she seemed more vibrant, a briskness underpinning each footfall. She smiled. Looking at her face, I noticed a massive change, much of the burden she carried, gone.

Over a few weeks, the van and its sole occupant had gone north to the Queensland border and back.

Fear, confusion and unsolicited opinions of others once considered were cast to one side. Triumph over her self imposed limitations lifted her higher accelerating the healing, and diminishing the tenacity of grief. Beautifully manicured bright pink nails revealed the young woman living inside the body of the old.

We spoke, normal conversation about our common interests. A fleeting moment on the side of the road, a chance meeting provided the inspiration for this piece. Inspiration abounds.

Go ahead, look then write!

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