She laughed at his tears.

His dismay and amazement gave way to frustrated cries as he futilely tried to gather the nebulous, iridescent orbs in his hands. The harder he tried to grasp the feather-light, fragile spheres the quicker they burst and the crosser he became.

The young woman, barely more than a child herself, took a deep breath and blew a flurry of bubbles at him, tiny and large, from the purple, plastic pipe. The bubbles jostled each other in their exuberance at being given shape, definition, life; Some joined and became one; Others bounced off each other, skittering and dancing on the breeze; Each lived for a short, shimmering moment before ending on a sigh, and in a shower of tears disappeared never to be seen again; Gone and forgotten in the blink of an eye.

“Don’t fight them, Darling. Enjoy them. Look!”

Lifting her face she let a large bubble touch her nose, giving her a wet fairy kiss as it burst against her downy skin. The dewdrops of moisture splashed their effervescence on her face; Cool and delightful in the heat of mid- summer. Her laughter tinkled and floated on the air; Full of memories of the past, enjoyment of the moment and hope for the future.

The wide-eyed child hiccupped and with a gurgle joined her in the moment, then lost himself in his own formative memories of love, sunshine, laughter and magical, dancing rainbows.

She poked out her tongue trapping a largish one on its wet tip and held its ephemeral perfection there for a long moment, before her breath burst it scattering the drops over her chin. He copied her, without much luck, and his unself-conscious glee echoed around the garden.

The woman plunged her finger into the liquid then carefully, gently, caught the impossible on its tip; Held it out to her son, inviting him to temp fate and try his luck at holding onto it. They both erupted into fresh gales of laughter as it disappeared in a misty shower.

He had learned though, and dipped his hand into the bowl, then chased down a large bubble trying to make its escape. It was caught; Held there on his wet, chubby hand, tugging gently as though begging for its freedom. She took his arm and worked it back and forth until that determined little orb broke free. They watched it balk, and bobble, then catch a warm air-current and rise; Up and up until it was gone.

The girl blew more and more bubbles and the pair of them skipped and danced in the sparkling shower. Water sprites immersed in a world of their own.

Thelma tucked a wayward strand of grey hair behind her ear and with a wistful smile thought, ‘If laughter had a shape and colour, it would be a breath of bubbles; jostling, and jittering as they fly to freedom.’

 Rosa Christian Dec. 2007.



Balgal, Australia

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