who are you calling in the dark times?

green pine tree in close up photography
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Who are you calling when the clouds hang low

And the sunlight fails to come through?

When you’re fumbling for phones and your face is aglow

With the light from the screen, blinking so blankly,

Growing our hope when there really is none.

There will be a time when you need that saved number

And a hand in the dark to pull towards light,

When you’re sure that there’s nothing left worth the fight.

I trained alongside a girl who was teaching in England for two years having come over from Australia. When I was over in South Africa I was unbelievably homesick so I could only imagine how she felt in the middle of a pandemic.

However, that was some sixteen years ago and so I had forgotten those feelings and how painful they could be. I was only reminded when we were teaching the Year 7s A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

We had just reached the bit that breaks everyone’s hearts and we were all in our staff room talking about our thoughts and how the Year 7s didn’t seem to ‘get it’.

It was then that this Australian girl said that when she had finished with the class that day, she had immediately pulled out her phone and messaged all her family on the other side of the world telling them how much she loved them.

I felt my heart give a little twinge when I heard her say that. My mum had just moved away to I don’t know where and I was wondering if anyone actually loved me. I realised that I had one less person that I could reach out to when life got tough.

Hold onto those people with all of your might; it’s sad when you lose them.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a monster calls

frightening kid in halloween costume on street
Photo by Charles Parker on Pexels.com

His twisted hands will grasp at throats

Of men who merely want to live,

To love the world that’s shattered by

A world of ghosts and ghouls that haunt our dreams

And pull our lives down to the ground.

Those monsters tear the shroud of gloom

That cloaked the days we longed to love.

But we are humans and utopias

Will never be reality, never work

In way that are so feasible.

We’ll always be this scared,

fearing for our lives; being but a child

Makes so little difference here.

Those monsters will still come for you

In your adult world.

I’m sitting in a little side room listening to a lesson on A Monster Calls with Year 7 going on next door to me. Year 7 students are 11-12 years old so they are just at that age where they know that monsters and Santa and fairies don’t exist. They want to see the world scientifically and question everything that they are told.

However, the novel that they are learning about almost reintroduces the idea of monsters still existing even when you are that little bit older. They are at that in between age where they are too cool for everything, but I wonder when that fear will seep back into their lives?

All of us adults have monsters that we deal with and most of us would not feel too cool to admit that. For me, I worry that I am not enough and that I am evil and that everyone can see these awful flaws. That is the monster that keeps me awake at night.

I wish we lived in a world where our metaphorical monsters could be spirited away but, unfortunately, the world is quite a scary place and it makes me sad to know that those Year 7s I can hear next door will come to know that over the next few years of their lives. I hope they keep hold of their coolness for as long as they can….

Much Love

Rachel xx