I’ve been letting my inner story-teller loose with a series called Stories of Stuff. To find other pieces in this category, head to The Usual Suspects drop down box (on the right column) and select Stories of Stuff from the categories there.
The humble tennis ball, snatched from lofty Wimbledon ambitions and tossed repetitively in the backyard of many households.
We throw it for dogs, who chase after it, tails wagging, then with a quick snatch and about face, hurtle back to the thrower for it to happen again… and again… and again.
The dog gets exercise and interaction. Energy is burnt, bonds are made, needs are met.
From the other end of the ball, it looks different.
Inside. It is cold and dim and moods are dancing on the precipice of an abyss. Fear and apathy and tiredness and the real killer, boredom. Every move and motion is too hard. The dog nudges feet, wags tail, and returns to sleep.
We’ve all given up.
The jug boils, and the effort to create a mug of warmth is worth the heat spreading through fingers, palms, wrists and up arms.
The dog has noticed movement, and scurries hopefully to the back door.
You sigh, and agree. Collapse onto the back steps, coffee in one hand, ball in the other.
Throw it! she says with her eyes, dancing impatiently.
You throw the ball. For the moment that your arm is extended, the sun touches your skin and dusts vitamin D onto your skin.
You throw the ball. The birdsong and leaves rustling stoke your ears.
You throw the ball. The dog looks upwards and you follow her gaze, seeing a cockatoo in the tree.
You throw the ball. The speed of the dog captures your attention and you start timing her.
You throw the ball. She trips up the steps and you laugh.
You throw the ball. The throws are getting bigger now, and you are cheering the dog on.
You throw the ball. You’re smiling. Life has taken a turn.
Distraction. Engagement. Laughter. Joy. Hope.
You throw the ball, and step away from the edge.
You throw the ball, and offer joy to a wet nose.
You throw the ball, and set aside every other thing that has been fighting for your attention.
Throw it! Throw it!
You throw the ball.