On the face of it, our situation seemed utterly hopeless; a little like children trying to hold on to fine-dry sand – as it unstoppably slips through their tiny fingers. That’s how those final few testing days felt as we waited, hour after hour for those pesky promised funds to arrive. Without any obvious financial resource, it was hard to see how we could purchase flights in time for OZ. As the deadline for the KAAL 2011 Aboriginal festival was almost up.
Talk about “a rock and a hard place!
Sometimes the only hope we have – is no bigger than a tiny grain of sand – if that? Every day for the past two weeks, Nick & Anni’s firstborn granddaughter Abigail, had popped in to ask “Has it arrived yet?” – referring to the funds for the airline tickets. Each time Nick’s answer remained the same “Nope!” These daily banters had become a kind of ‘teasing game’ the two of them played. Abigail in her way, really wanted to see the money arrive, for her ‘Taid.’
(Taid by the way is the Welsh word for Grandad) But she was also trying to support him in a “playful way”…. just in case the hoped for trip, didn’t happen. It was the day before the OZ deadline;hardly any of our dry sand was left, when Abigail popped in as usual, to ask her pantomime question “Has it arrived yet?”
Nick’s answer, hadn’t changed.
This time Abigail ramped up her concern “I think these people are mucking you about.“
Nick defensively replied “No they’re not….they are good people… it’s a…” But before he could finish Abigail retorted, this time with a bit more edge “Yes they are…. you’ve put so much into this …they don’t care…. they’re just mucking you about.”
Nick – “No …it’s … Not like that…this is… A faith thing” Abigail – not buying any of it, repeated her mantra. Nick tried to explain -” Look you know when you book a flight online… to fly somewhere …like a holiday for instance – you do it in good faith, trusting that you will soon get confirmation by text or email, sometimes you might even get tickets posted to you. (That was the case back in the old days)
Abigail – nodded her teen-head– as if to say …Okay I know how the system works! Nick – Well you might do all that and even have the actual tickets in your hand – but they are only worth something if you can-actually board the flight and fly to your destination. That’s when your faith is justified.”
Abigail – nods again – but not quite sure where this thread was going.
Nick – then drew Abigail’s attention to something that was currently making headline news. “Well let’s say, we had the money and we were able to book a flight with Australia’s flagship airline ‘Qantas’ …we still wouldn’t be able to fly today.”
Abigail looked on bemused …”uh…why?”
Nick – “Because Qantas have bizarrely grounded all their flights worldwide TODAY!!!!”
Abigail – I don’t understand? Nick – “No…. neither do thousands of ‘ticket holding’ Qantas passengers…they to had such faith in their purchased tickets. They firmly believed that their dreams were going to come true and now they’re not, due to industrial action. Google http://www.aph.gov.au Headlines read – The gods must be crazy – chronology of issues in Qantas Nick – So this is why we wait…. in faith… because of what has been Divinely promised us, I know it all sounds pretty ‘barmy’ but it’s the only firm hope we’ve been given to hang on to. As the age old farming proverb goes “The time between sowing and harvest… is called ‘FAITH’” Abigail was not at all convinced by her Taid’s explanation and said –
“I’ll be back, same time tomorrow…to see if it’s arrived. …It’s your final chance!!!”
Sure enough she was back the following day with her Nana, Anni from doing the weekly food shop.
Has it arrived yet?
This time my answer was very different …”Can you take us to the airport?”
So after a quick turnaround, emptying the car of food shopping bags — we reloaded it with our travel bags.
What a wonderful finale it was. To see Abigail there to witness firsthand the dreamy fulfilment to all those perplexing questions she’d asked. Now it was happening! And here she was now with her Nana Anni waving Dave and I Bon Voyage from Manchester airport as we dreamily flew to OZ.
You’ll have to get the book to read what happened next.