Page 186 - Hymerian_2017_18
P. 186

  Deep breath. The echo of my pulse reverberates between my temples. My feet are laden with the ache of worry. How can something, once so natural, now seem insurmountable?
Fingers of wind weave through my hair, the wisps becoming entangled behind my ears. I linger before the splintering shield of oak and cast iron, deliberating on all the hands that must have touched this door over the centuries. Beneath every fingertip, acres of history; euphoric joy and tears of longing alike, found refuge under one palm. With a final, contemplating sigh I reach out, the dull metal cool to the touch.
With a muffled creak, the door leans back on its hinges, greeting my eyes with a sea of familiar faces; each kindly face weathered with the storm of the centuries, their tea stained crooked pearls framed in prune like, sand-dune skin. These perplexingly translucent smiles fade as my eyes readjust to the dim shadows, cast by the candle in the far corner.
Throughout my childhood years this community was my nursery, the pews my playground, these faces my teachers. Each Sunday that passed instilled new lessons. I would sit on Cindy’s knee, entangled in a net of vibrant wool, lulled to sleep by the rhythmic ticking of the needles; until one day my gangly limbs reached out, intrigued to click this foreign art. What began as
a disorientated muddle swiftly transformed into a slick weave of vivid threads. Knitting still conjures fond memories of her.
Trembling vibrations from the organ’s voice drew me back to my surroundings. Deep bass notes flooded around my feet, whilst high pitched whistles soared above my head. The sound entirely engulfed my
body. The tune marched on, reaching triumphant crescendos before dying away to a sorrowful echo, barely audible above a whisper. The melody, equally hauntingly beautiful and painfully nostalgic, drained me, exhausting my senses.
Leaning against the honey coloured sandstone blocks,
I let my fingers etch a path. They flow down between the channels of mortar and stone until they become one with the iridescent, stain cloth. The flag, comprised of delicate pearl cloth supported by a slick cane of bamboo, slouched effortlessly against the wall. Only the most joyous of celebrations commanded the waving of these flags. Fondly, I cast my mind back to when, before I could properly walk, I would perch on the broad, steadfast shoulders of my father, indigo flag paraded proudly above my head.
Through a chink in my eyelashes, I catch a glimpse
of a pair of white socked feet; they twirl in clumsy circles, entranced within their own world, oblivious to the surroundings. A pair of ash brown pigtails, neatly finished with two crimson bows, whip around onto the shoulder of a young girl who lets out a giggle, quickly stifled by a warm, paint stained hand. She wears a petal scattered, pleated skirt. Her tangible bubble of innocent happiness is undisrupted by my prying gaze.
I call out. Ask her name. She disappears behind a curtain of dust, illuminated in a cascade of sunlight.
Collapsing onto the ebony pew behind me, I let my heavy eyelids fall closed. The concoction of eclectic memories churns inside me, each flavoured with a sprinkle of nostalgia. The musty smell of moth-eaten, woven tapestries; the faded cushions that gave a sigh when tasked to accommodate any weight and the crisp slices of paper bound lovingly in royal blue, scattered with inky smudges.
Why did I not return sooner? It appears a lifetime since I visited last. The never-changing beauty and simplicity of this building is starkly incongruous with the complex emotions that surround its purpose. All my attempts
to disassociate religious meaning from childhood experience is futile. I fear the two may forever be intertwined; one wrapped round the other in a complex knot my fingers are unable to translate.
Ellen Gooch, Year 11

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