Somewhere at the start of my twenties I broke into the stale shell of a Chinese fortune cookie and read these words;
Time, nature and patience are the three great healers.
And I was lonely and in need of healing and those words spoke to me. They seemed to make sense. And I folded the slip of paper, sipped my complimentary Baileys and tucked them safely in to my purse.
I carried them with me. I carried them with me on good days and bad. I carried them with me to work. They were there when I was proud and determined and positive. They were there when I was tired and bored. I took them with me when I travelled. Nestled in my hand luggage they bypassed passport control and went straight through security. They were there on nights out. As I waited at the bar they rested alongside my lipgloss and listened in to the girly chat. They were there with me at 3am in the bedroom of a stranger. They were there on first dates and on last. They saw it all. I carried them with me closely and cast my eyes over their italic font again and again and again. I forgot about their presence. I forgot about the pain. They were a constant; solid and safe. They were there all day, everyday.
I thought the words were guiding me. Time was on my side. Time kept passing me by. I felt a bit better. I went outside. I walked. I breathed in the fresh air. And I waited. And waited. And waited still.
Then today I took this picture;
My daughter proudly holding high her first strawberry. Planted weeks ago by her own fair hand, she has checked on them daily, each time turning to me to say firmly, ‘Not yet.’
I have no idea where the words from the fortune cookie have ended up. I can’t remember the meal where I acquired them. Who I was with or why I was there. I laugh that I chose to keep them.
But I see those words in her smile. I understand them. And I know that a part of me has been healed.