Ramblings from the Cove...

August 2006

By Lars Gren

We were having a morning walk when Elisabeth decided to head home a different way. Just as I was coming near the Magnolia fire house - which is manned only one day a week. I forget which day but if there is a fire in the town it’s best to have it on that day - a cute blonde headed girl was in the street sort of looking around. She might have been six or so and as I approached she looked at me and said in anticipation of a positive answer, “I’m looking for my friend Lila, have you seen her?” I had never seen this little girl or her friend. I replied, “There was no girl down the street where I came from but if I see Lila, I’ll let her know that you are looking for her.” “OK, she has a black and white dog with her.” “Alright.” As I headed off to the corner then towards Surf Road she called out, “My name is Annabelle.” “Alright Annabelle, if I see Lila I’ll tell her you're looking for her.” “Thanks,” She said as we parted.

For the rest of my walk I was hoping to see a little girl with a black and white dog so that I could have said, “Annabelle, your friend Lila is looking for you” but it was not to be. Just a little encounter but it made my eyes misty and gave me that melancholic sense as I thought of the days when youngsters would in innocence have a word with a stranger on the street. That was in the days when a door could be left open; children could walk alone to the school house or go to the bus stop alone and when it was not abnormal to greet a stranger in passing. In the distant past living in Norway or to be exact in the city of Kristiansand S. you could see a baby carriage outside the grocery store including the baby in it while the mother shopped. If the wee one fussed a passer by having empathy might rock the carriage a bit or make funny sounds or whatever to quiet the little one. A delivery man could leave the box on a doorstep expecting the absent owner to find it on his return. There are a few who may still say, “Yes, I remember those days,” but never are they to come again.

When we walk and meet people I out of habit from past days nod and give a greeting but by the response of surprise I gather that it would not be the normal think that they would do. Most I think would trot by as a horse with blinders on seeing but not seeing. They excel in keeping “eyes front” as in a military formation. Not so with Annabelle. Since that day I’ve not seen her even though I have walked the street where we met which is a bit off my usual routine but I am hopeful that we’ll meet and I can call out, “Annabelle did you find your friend Lila, with the black and white dog?”

Down deep I think that we all long to be as open as Annabelle but what is it that inhibits us?

God bless y'all,


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