Non- Fiction, Culture, Significant historical event, Piece.
Written on: 9/10/2016
By Isabel Hey
Where I lived was suburban. I went to school. It was near to where I lived. Could walk there barefoot and it wouldn’t hurt too bad. I owned shoes. I just didn’t like shoes is all. I had two sisters , a mum, a dad, and a garden. A garden wit
h a tree that sometimes grew bananas, a tin elephant and a blunt toothed crocodile that were statues and sat amongst pebbles and pray mantis dance parties.
I worked on that garden. Knowing every single one of it’s parts. The lumpy compost heap, the earthy ferns, the itchy punga ,and the bamboo pilers (that were not really pilers at all, more like limp tendrils, nether the less they held up the sky and kept it from crushing the land). I remember how I knew that the grass was always dewy. I knew where you’d find the most open space, air, land, and where it was the fences were stood. Our property was an alive ,gorgeous kingdom, but go beyond the fence and you lost that magic. It was as good as dead.
Once, no, not once but many times, my sister threw our moon hopper over the fence, and as I saw her go to retrieve it, I was one mortified 4 and a half year old tot. The fence was easy to scale, only short, I realized as she lifted herself over. My sister grabbed the moon hopper in two fists, and flung the inflated body back over the fence by it’s alien ears. The moon hopper, on landing, bounced and rolled in quiet circles, as my sister disappeared for a moment behind the fence. Then, two hands appeared, little latches, the ones to hoist a small person over similarly small fences, and back she returned. Tho, the action my sister has just carried out was effortless to her, there was nothing mundane about it to my eyes.
One thing I do recall, being a child, is feeling that no one was on the same page to me, and feeling this often. People did the daftest things, with the appearance that they did not actually have something between the two ears on their head. It was quite possible that in the place of their brains was a pigeon whose quiet hoots advised all their grand life decisions. Things that absolutely made sense in my mind, rarely made sense to others. I would forgive my sister for what she had done but this is what she did.
Her feet. It was her feet, covered in new patches of soil. Soil lodged between each toe. Soil round the heel. The neighbors soil was covering her feet and her feet were standing on our garden with this soil all over them. Although my feet, too, were covered in brown, clumpy, soil, it was my gardens beautiful soil. Nothing was more out of place than what my sister had bought into our garden. I did not like the idea of soil from another place being used to grow our plants, in my kingdom. It had got a lucky ticket to the paradise side, had that neighbor’s soil, and I did not have the resources to stop the contamination. It was gross but it was bound to happen.
Next, it would be a ball that flew over the fence, or a bunch of neighborhood “friends” invited around to waddle disgusting infections all through my lovely land. All I ever wanted was a garden of my own dirt, not to share land with others dirt. Everyone deserved their own plot of dirt. Didn’t they? At birthday parties, I put on a brave smile as I watched the toes of my guests dig into my garden’s earth surface. I had to stay quiet because I loved my mum and knew that she was trying to make me happy but having all these people here really sucked. I saw bumble bees disperse, fly away from the kingdom for a few hours, unable to find peace in the ordeal. My most favorite creature in the land was the bumble bee, these pests had made it leave. In a world where you had to share your dirt with other people, I knew that sanctuary would be inevitable because suburbia wouldn’t let people be alone, because it was polite to be inclusive and let people eat your food and liter your land.
In my world, as I saw it, you had worlds in which you could exist with your tribe, family. Yes, you attend school or visit supermarkets where of course people were, but, I had very little to give to the outside people. My wish was to store the energy I had and give it to my exploration of my own garden, ruined, polluted, garden.
Something I was so sure about at the time, I began to see was mistaken. For the land grew back. The land was not poisoned, it couldn’t be, it was magic and if it caught a disease I did not see it because grass continued to grow. I’m not sure how it works but I my garden was tough to put up with all that was bought on it by the careless pigeon heads who left without a sorry, just a “thank you for having me”. I begun to realize there must be something looking after the land that was hear long before me. How else would the pungas and ferns got here? Who was it that told the pray mantis to dance like those weird creatures did? There must’ve been something living under the earth, with strong powers and capable resources I was very grateful it possessed.
*This story is non-fiction. This story should be treated as me, the written, channeling a racist, conservative, pakeha through my young persona. I was born in England 31/may/1997 and moved to New Zealand in July that same year. I now consider myself Pakeha/ New Zealand european, but at the time of this story I most likely flaunted my exotic British identity. My parents always shied away from the disputes between pakeha and maori, thus I grew up with education about these things with a lack of surrounding morals. I learn of racism from what my Dad taught me about the treatment of Asians in Yorkshire in the 80s. I did not perceive New Zealand to have this same racism. Racism is viewed as a childish unwillingness to change ones stubborn views and beliefs due to fear somewhat irrational. Due to my suburban upbringing, these views were displaced on me. My fear of soil in this story should not appear as outright racism but a fear that, due to social anxieties of an individual, that needed to be labeled, e.g: fear of other people’s soil had very little justification and was more likely just a want to be alone. My childhood home, and where this story is set, was on the North Shore of Auckland. Where you lived on the north shore, was detrimental of your social class. Although my family was not as rich other residence in Greenhithe (the north shore suburb I grew up), my family was included in the social circles and our economic status was not seen as important as our ability to live in a well off neighborhood.
Library Research Example:
*gonna do this asap