‘Welcome Home’ by Carolyn Tonkin

 

Carolyn at the launch of the 2016 Stories of Life anthology ‘A Chicken Can Make a Difference’

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Procrastinating, as usual, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a post by Tabor College, which I duly clicked on. It was there that I spotted an advert for the ‘Stories of Life’ competition. It drew my attention straight away and I thought, “Why not?” But as I read the details, to my horror I saw the competition closed in three days. I’d never entered a writing competition before but I couldn’t shake the feeling to have a go, so I did the thing I always do when I don’t know what to do – I prayed.

“What will I write, Lord?” I asked.

The prayer had barely left my lips before they were replaced with these words – “Write about the day you met your father.”

 Despite it being 30 years ago, the memory was still fresh for me, so I took a deep breath and begun typing. My thoughts and emotions tumbled out and in an hour, 1500 words stared back at me. I felt satisfied and at peace, as if I’d been for a long walk by the beach, so I left it for the day and returned the next afternoon to begin the editing process.

 It’s funny how time can be a percolator of self-doubt. I finished the edit but decided it wasn’t that good. Who was I kidding? I was a novice! Was it really worth submitting? My husband read the finished version and smiled at me with those loving eyes of crystal blue. “It’s good” he said. I let out a sigh and knew I should take the risk, so I prayed once more – “Do with it whatever you want, Lord” and pressed ‘send’.  

Carolyn Tonkin

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