Working on down the contents page of my collection, When I Am Not Writing Poetry, we come to the seventh story in the collection, ‘The Beginning’. A story about a young and rather naïve boy about to leave home for the first time.
Decisions – big decisions – were not something he had needed to worry about until recently and this one had been very big: very big indeed, for it was about his future. His life. Now he was wondering how this decision had ever been reached!
The boy sat at the table in the dining room and wondered how it had all come about. He looked at his mother whose downcast eyes seemed to express a similar but, he thought, unacknowledged concern; at his father who, at the head of the table, seemed unconcerned, unaware even of any issue. He was reading the paper and seemed to be waiting. The boy sat at the table and did not know what to say.
Less than a year ago the boy’s only worries had been about homework and wondering whether he would be able to go fishing at the weekend; he had been working in the local plant nurseries every Saturday, and he had had no other concerns; no worries… and, he realised looking back on that time, he had scarcely ever made a decision in his life. For him, decisions were things made by his parents…