Life’s most important lesson


Image: Pixabay


As a child, you never considered the end. The hours were too long, full of half-glimpsed butterflies and doll tea parties and Kia-ora at the cinema.

Even later, life bulged: student bars serving cheap Guinness, back-combed hair – soft bristles against your cheek.

Then the family tree began to change shape – a prune here, another there, until it looked different. A pollarded oak.

Soon each morning began the same: a battle to quell the notion that an unexplained lump, a tickle in the throat – a cough – could speed your  end.  No one lives forever – until now, surely. You will be the exception, the miracle that proves the rule.

Still, one golden dusk, He comes for you.

Slips a kind, bony hand in yours.

You fight but not for long – your body’s weak, tired out by a lifetime chasing butterflies.

Finally, you’ve learned life’s most important lesson.


With thanks to My Loving Wife at A Word Adventure for her Tuesday Use It In A Sentence.

Today’s word is QUELL.

Pop along to A Word Adventure for full rules and to join in.

16 thoughts on “Life’s most important lesson

  1. Wow, all that from one little word! That was great, Lynn. Especially the images of bristles on the cheek and the kind, bony hand. With just a couple of short, well-placed phrases, the imagery blossoms. Great post. A lifetime in a few dozen words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Walt! I’m trying to work on producing fewer words and more ‘right’ ones. I know that should be obvious, but there have been times I’ve just thrown words at the screen and seen what sticks. Cutting back means making better choices – something I sorely need to learn. Thank you again – it means a lot coming fromsomeone who writes so well 🙂


      1. Well, you made some great choices up above. My writing improved dramatically (if I may say so myself) when I started writing on WordPress. I learned a lot about editing and word choice as I held myself to word counts. It seems the sweet spot for blog readers is between 400-800 words, give or take, and figuring out how to say what I want to say within those constraints has made me a better writer. Seems to be working for you too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you’re right about the word count – approaching 1,000 words is too much for most people to stick with. I think I am improving so far as brevity is concerned – as you say, practice helps! If I could just pin down structure now … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kia-ora at the cinema! I remember that.
    Ageing is a funny thing – when you look back at life, you remember the days when childhood was going to last forever. You looked at nineteen-year olds and felt sorry for them, sure that your adulthood was a lifetime away, and then the clock starts ticking a little faster, and faster again, and suddenly you’re getting old, but you can’t pinpoint the moment when you grew up.
    I love this post…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kia-ora and Raisin Poppets for me! Ah, Jane you’re so right – I remember being almost surprised when I was a kid, rembering I wasn’t an adult yet, when what was going on in my head felt so grown up! What age can you judge yourself as grown up? 18? 21? 30? When you have a child? When both your parents have died? My step mother told me she still felt 23 on the inside, even though she’d reached her 40s by then – I know what that feels like now 🙂


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