Alchemy and lemons

It’s your choice what you do with the lemons or Pak’n Save trolleys that irritate you …

Saturday 21st November 2020

Over the last month I have been camped in my library, writing the final academic journal paper for my doctorate. The view from the second story here is beautiful, with the white-noise of the wind as the only sound for hours at a time …

The days pass uneventfully, page after page gets written, rewritten and then rewritten again. I have learnt how to plod …

It was all pretty peaceful until some ‘inconsiderate person’ (President Trump might describe them more colorfully as a ‘loser’) abandoned a Pak’n Save shopping cart outside my house. We are a long way from the nearest store.

For a few days, it just hung around outside, blown around in the wind. I was intrigued how something constructed out of holes could catch the wind like that. Finally, it got blown over during a gale and just lay forlornly in the kerb.

Jane phoned the store but they showed no interest in retrieving one of their assets. That irritated me even more than the ‘inconsiderate person’ who had created the problem in the first place.

By Saturday afternoon I had had enough of moaning about it. Sometimes life is a lemon. That either makes you sour or do something to change things: I chose to take a walk with the trolley. As I passed hedges and gardens, I noticed for the first time just how many other trolleys had somehow escaped their servitude. Maybe there is something like the Underground Railroad that allowed American slaves to escape during the 1800’s going on here, where trolleys get together and escape in the dead of night. Was I really doing the right thing returning it to its Master ?

I reunited the trolley with some of its other bedraggled and rusting companions on the edge of the store car park.

With a silly grin on my face, I walked back home. Along the way, I came across a bin of free off-cuts of wood being offered outside a factory. Sticking out were the perfect pieces I needed to finish a shelf in my library. Maybe all this doctoral research is teaching me to become an alchemist: I think I just learnt how to turn lemons into timber.

I love this stuff …

Author: Rockweather

I am a writer, musician, teacher, and researcher at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand.

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