The tea had been made and poured into dainty cups. I carried the tea tray through to the living room, placing it on the table in front of the sofa we always sat on. My grandmother favoured the spot in the sunlight as it warmed her during the cool winter days. I enjoyed the spot as the sun shone on her face, highlighting her smiling face. I passed a cup to her, with the “p’tit biscuit”. After helping herself to a spoonful of sugar, she sat back comfortably and began stirring her tea. I settled in next to her, ready to spend hours in the company of someone I loved very much. I enjoyed this weekly visit to my grand-mere: I discussed my concerns with her and shared my joys. She told me of hers; and took me into the past and a life experience that no longer exists.
It was a mild winter’s day when she took me to a balmy Saturday evening in Mauritius. Men and women had dressed up for the evening. The men, she told me, looked handsome in their suits – no jeans and t-shirts for this evening’s attire! The women were dressed to the nines as well: hair done up in the style of the day, and bodies enveloped in beautiful dresses. It was the weekly dance: the band was playing and couples were dancing on the floor. Everyone knew how to dance: the waltz, the foxtrot, the quickstep. The band played the rhumba and cha-cha as well. My grand-mere reminisces on the dance card she had, a card that was always full. “I was a good dancer and everyone wished to dance with me.” The smile on her face told of fond memories and pleasant experiences.
“So different from today,” I said to her. “Nowadays no-one knows how to dance – the men seem to avoid dancing and moving to music. Ah, I would have loved to have been there: listening to the sounds of the band, and moving to the rhythm of the music with someone who knew how to dance.”
We moved away from the past and back to the present. Our journey into the past would occur the next time we met. I remember leaving her that afternoon thinking about how beautiful she must have looked when she was 17 years old. And how gracefully she must have danced for her dance card to be full. Now I think back to the times when my grand-mere took be back to the past and smile. Smile because I am thinking of the past, a past which was made richer during my weekly visits with the matriarch of my family.
(This post was a response the the Weekly Writing Challenge posted by the Daily Post. This week we were challenged to try something different. It was more difficult than I thought to write down a memory of a visit with my grandmother. I can only hope that with practice I will better be able to capture the moment with words.)