Books Magazine

Unlocking the Secrets

By Ashleylister @ashleylister

There’s something about a key. It teases us. It’s powerful and it seems to know how much we need it. It unlocks some answers. And keeps others hidden.  When my grandad died at 93 he left behind a house filled with all sorts of ‘useful’ items. Born in the late 1800s he was a product of both world wars and the ‘make do and mend’ generation. Nothing was thrown away that just might come in useful. Old screws and nails; odd pieces of wood that might have been fashioned into a doorstop or filled a hole in the wall; pieces of paper with random writings; hammer heads and their broken handles; the list went on. I remember my dad and his siblings, going through drawers and cupboards and despairing of the rubbish that had been kept ‘just in case.’ One day my dad came home with a small wooden box. He shook it and it gave a satisfying rattling sound. We wondered if it could be something of value. Jewellery, watches, old coins? Dad obviously knew what was in it. We realised it wasn’t going to be valuable by the way he was shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Slowly, he opened the lid and held out the box with a flourish. We all peered in. He turned the box over and the contents spilled out onto the table.  We stared at about fifty keys, of various shapes and sizes.   ‘I mean -,’ said my dad, still shaking his head, ‘what good are these?? They’re not labelled, there’s no clue what they’ll fit. Ridiculous.’  I liked the keys. I picked one up and turned it in my hand. It was small with a fancy top. I wondered what secrets of my granddad’s it had kept locked away all those years. I thought the keys were beautiful and would love to have kept them, but dad was so adamant they were a waste of space that I knew it would be pointless to ask.  Just over a year ago my dad died, aged 92.  Going through his desk I found a small drawer that rattled. I don’t know if they were the same keys or ones that he’d collected himself but I rejoiced at the irony, the continuity, the way life goes on. And the way life goes round in circles.  The other day, going through some old papers of my own I found a diary from when I was about eight. I can’t be precise as it’s locked, with no date on it. It’s locked, and there’s no key. I can see that key now. I can feel it’s lightness in my hand. I was aware, even at that age, that it was cheap and flimsy and could bend if twisted too far. That diary holds my sixty year old secrets. Should I try and find a key?  I pull out the secret drawer in my desk, and poke my finger in. There’s no tiny key hidden at the bottom but there are plenty of others, all with their own secrets.  Unlocking the Secrets
Unlocking the Secrets
No Key to That Time by Jill Reidy I’m eight My life revolves around school And friends  Mum and dad What’s for tea And arguments with my brothers Of parties And dresses with netting The dread of school dinners Handstands at playtime Perfecting French knitting Susie, my baby whose eyes never close Playing out on the streets  with Iris and Edward Penny lollies and dancing These are my ramblings  An eight year old's secrets They’re locked in my diary They’re locked in my diary With no key to that time 
Thanks for reading........ Jill
Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog