he doesn’t miss a beat, he is too busy playing hard


the little king came to stay

he is three now

a big boy.

a force of nature to be reckoned with

a chaotic random event occurring

a tornado whirling and twirling thru kitchen verandah shed bedroom and garden.

installations pop up everywhere

a nest of skewers balancing on top of a plastic container finely tuned with potato masher,  peeler and meat cleaver

perhaps a fast sports car parked within.

brightly coloured balls packed into a sieve and topped with tea cosy and ice tray.

there are no limits except the ones we vainly try to apply as we  gingerly pick our way thru the pandemonium known as Kingston John.

there are wood off cuts wheelbarrow boxes  nails and hammers packed haphazardly on the verandah and cascading down the steps.

there are saucepans full of trains in the lounge room and ladders blocking doorways.

there are slippers  shoes ,hats and jumpers a trail of temperatures and whims.

there are cups of milk tea, glasses of water, half chewed oranges, pots of hommous licked clean, crusts of marmalade toast and dregs of muesli in bowls loitering on various tables and shelves.

all activities accompanied by a never ending prattling sing songy story.

thursday last he travelled down  with his mum, a day when the air turned to snow and the  land lay under fine white drifts between Cooma and  Brown Mountain,

dawn on the Friday he jumps into our  bed   pressing his ever so sweet face  up close to mine twiddling my hair around his fingers chanting ‘tory  ‘tory ‘ tory and so it goes…

’ once upon a time  there was a little boy and his name was Kingston John… and off we sail on  adventures with Wallaby eating wild cherries and going down Wombat tunnels.

flying on the backs of Eagles to meet Whale  in Bermagui and hang out playing ball with the Seals  on Baranguba Island.

down at the dam he and wa wa meet the Dragon that lives far below the surface  and carries them off  to magical places .

he  has picnics with bandicoots and tortoise and echidna…

and THEN he says  ‘working thing  ‘tory about working thing’

what do you mean working thing ? I say .

working thing he says ‘tory my hair knotting  round and round his fingers.

you mean a machine story ?

yes .

wowsers  must be time to get up and have  tea and toast.

a phone on the mantelpiece rings,

a woman is about to birth in Canberra.

Jess eats her porridge kisses her son goodbye  and leaves.

he doesn’t miss a beat,

he is too busy  playing hard.

the opportunity to hang out with the men on a semi dry verandah and renovate the old bird-cage for a magpie that Sooti and Kat  found in the paddocks.

a young one badly injured.

this involves sawing and staples and wire and drills and screwdrivers

it is Kingston heaven and all the time it is raining hard.

Elsie is resting on the day bed after her second treatment with Shelli

every so often the little fella has to run in and clamour over her.

are you alright aunty?

holding her hand tenderly as she makes her way outside to check on the goings on.

I love you aunty he says.

I love you too she replies.

into this mix enters  the asylum seekers.

thru the local Bega Valley Rural Australians for Refugee group John has organized  six  Sri Lankan young men to come to Bega for two weeks and be hosted with various families.

this is hopefully one of many possible answers to offset our governments cruel reaction to those that flee persecution and seek asylum in our country.

they arrive on the Friday night immediately warming to the fun and games of a three year old instantly bonding .

at times the English is challenging and we speak in broken sentences, wave our arms around a lot . they smile and agree a lot.

gradually as the days roll on it gets easier and we become family. we are invited to a wedding in India in 2015 if fingers crossed this young man gets a working visa and can travel to meet his arranged bride.

stories are shared of an  eighteen day  boat journey from Madras to Christmas Island with 120 people on board .

scary yes.

they have been in detention in Darwin in Curtin in Melbourne and now live in Dandenong on a six month bridging visa.

what strikes me is their awesome capacity to be present in a way not often seen by similar aged young men in our culture.

it is not just their willingness to be involved in whatever is happening but their ability to anticipate and rise to the occasion  to offer to do to assist.

many years ago I was given  the meaning of community .

when a person sees a gap , sees something that needs to  be done and steps in  and does it, that is Community .

it is something that these young Sri Lankan men have in bucket fulls.

This is my  wish  for the little king , that he too may grow fully present ,not only to himself but to the  whole community around him.


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