I went for a walk a couple of days ago.
It wasn’t planned but the most interesting adventures never are. Leaving the library after a writing session, I walked out into a sunny, glorious day got into the car and drove to a local park.
It’s not a park I visit regularly, but remembering the wooden statues, one in particular named “the old man of the wood” I vaguely planned to pay him homage on my tour in the sun.
Arriving just after lunchtime on impulse I bought some chips to enjoy and wandered aimlessly towards the Rose Garden. Looking up to the top of the wooden frame adorned with a string of roses, I spotted a lone seagull watching me.
It looked forlorn, displaying the kind of expression akin to not being feed for months on end and to cheer it up I decided to throw it a chip. It instantly moved towards it and gobbled it down.
Then I heard a flutter of wings and found myself surrounded by a flock of seagulls.
Now, they’e pretty big birds and given my nervous childhood experience with my Gran’s budgie, Charlie, I should really have known better.
Deciding to quietly back away, I headed towards the pond, followed by the flock, swooping down around my head.
Berating myself, my mind filled with vague memories of watching Tippi Hedren hiding in a telephone box away from ‘The Birds’ and the seagulls from ‘Finding Nemo’ who declared everything as theirs.
Nearing the closest bin, I dumped the chips, leaving the seagulls to swoop after them, gather round, celebrate a campaign well fought and a feast well deserved.
Watching them in fascination, I laughed at myself as I appreciated creativity in action. To me, the seagull had a character and without thinking I gave him a backstory. I can’t help it. It is who I am.
We are all extras in everyone’s story and we all have our own. Even a seagull and their friends and in exchange for their sharing that afternoon I will use this little snapshot in a park to add to my current story in progress. I am sure they will happily take the chips as payment.
So, if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like to be this; be open to new experiences, people and animals. You never know what story they may tell you.