Day 25 – Sit for a while, and listen

It was yet again another National holiday for Independence Day. The outside sound was so peaceful you could almost hear a pin drop. There were murmurings of muffled conversations wafting through the air though the breeze was absent amid the afternoon sun. Birds were omnipresent as is their nature, but their song only added to the peace that rang all around. Admittedly, it was difficult to feel completely isolated when curious eyes bend to follow your every move, let alone the obnoxious goose that made it’s presence known whilst I was writing.

This place really was beautiful. Someone started to sing somewhere on the wards where I’d noticed that most were simply sleeping through the heat of the day. I wondered if it was one of my own patients who I’d been told enjoyed singing. Or maybe it was the man singing to his child who I often saw being wheeled around on his chair and only knew me as Badeshi. I always wished that I could sing so I could attempt to give some credit to English songs rather than just bursting into a reminition of ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’. Or maybe it would be nice to be able to draw, bringing that which I could see through my own eyes before the eyes of another through a pen or paintbrush.

Still, Aaliyah and I were fighting to be here against all advice and possible consequence. Even after 3 weeks this place was starting to mean more than just a university placement. I was healthier now than I had been in months and the contentedness that came with that easily followed. It was true I could see the possible stress appearing on the horizon, but this would be a chosen stress, one I could prepare for in time.

Somewhere nearby a baby started to cry. I located the sound and saw the Mother gently rocking him so calmly he became quiet again almost immediately. But no sooner had the baby found peace that Faith found it’s voice. Prayer had started it’s second call of the day. I listened to the familiar sound and though recently it had lasted longer than normal, today it lasted no longer than a few minutes. Maybe they agreed too that the calm pace of the day was peace enough for anyone’s soul.

I suddenly wondered if I was even allowed to be strolling around when I began thinking about how unusual it is to have so few people around when there’s no work to be done, especially when I’m used to living in York centre on a Saturday. The basketball court was empty, the table tennis unattended and the practise standing frames were occupied by only one. I remained unfazed until someone decided to take a phone call directly behind me although there was the entirety of the grounds to choose from. As she put the phone down, however, it was like some invisible alarm had activated and people began to emerge from places I could not have seen. Two men start to shoot at the hoops on the basketball court, the shop opened one of it’s doors and the patients were coming over to buy snacks. I decided this was my cue to head back to the flat and give the locals their evening space.

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