And Another One Came Along

five-seagulls1

There are moments in life – spontaneous and unexpected –  that are completely joyful.

I was at the Sydney Fish Markets today and saw these seagulls perched on the stormwater net, waiting for their next feed. A little boy, aged about three, was standing on the grassy verge counting them as they landed. He was absolutely delighted to see them, chortling with glee as first one then another came along.

‘He’s never seen a seagull before,’ said his mother.

Turns out they were from the country, in western New South Wales, completely inland, miles and miles and miles from the sea. They have come to Sydney for a wedding. Tomorrow they are going to the beach where they hope to see crabs in the rockpools and maybe surfers.

One – the little boy counted as the first seagull arrived.

Two – he cried, jumping up and down on the spot.

Three, four – he exclaimed to anyone who cared to listen.

As the pure white birds landed with the accuracy of aircraft it struck me how what is commonplace to one can be extraordinary to another. Here I am in this city perched on the water looking at seagulls almost every day without a second thought. I would not usually look at one with much interest. I would certainly never count how many there were. I would in fact, assume that everyone whom I passed in the street would regard seagulls the same way I do, that they would have seen what are actually beautiful, skilled fishermen, hundreds of times before.

Five – the little boy was flapping his arms at his sides. Like wings.

We waited. A small crowd had gathered. Some other mothers with children. A few Japanese tourists.

Five minutes passed. Ten.

‘That might be it,’ said the little boy’s mother. ‘No more seagulls. We should go now.’

‘No,’ protested the little boy. ‘One more. One more.’

We waited for five more minutes. I held my breath, sending wishes up to the sky for one more seagull.

And then it came.

Six – the little boy was full of joy. ‘Only five, then another one came along.’

‘Six seagulls sitting in the sun,’ said his mother.

The little boy clapped and cheered. The other children hopped and danced. The Japanese tourists took photos with their iPhones. I felt glad to have witnessed a regular part of my daily landscape being transformed into a rare and special event.

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25 thoughts on “And Another One Came Along

  1. I see you over at Let It Blurt often and decided to come by and say hello.

    I really enjoyed this story… I’m gonna take a look around if that’s ok. 🙂

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  2. Fresh eyes are amazing! Through our awareness we can also have fresh eyes and enjoy that which we too often fail to see! Thanks for sharing this valuable lesson.

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  3. What a delightful and uplifting story! If only we all could recapture a little of that wide-eyed wonder we had as children!

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  4. CAS:
    So nice of you to drop by. I am glad you liked the story. Hope to see you again!

    GERALDINE:
    I don’t think those seagulls had any idea how much happiness they caused just by being there. Amazing!!

    TOBEME:
    The eyes of children often remind me of the things I had forgotten. It’s always good to get a fresh perspective.

    TUMBLEWORDS:
    There definitely was an artistic leaning. Wonder what that little boy will end up doing with his life? He was so jolly it made me wish something good would come his way.

    JOSIE:
    How nice to hear from you. It’s been too long. I agree, if only we could recapture a little of it!

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  5. Australian are ya, mate? I never knew that. Nice.

    I see a lot of seagulls, I live close to the beach. You took a very nice photograph up there, it’s nice how they line up.

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  6. Shows how big a country Australia is; I don’t think there’s anyone in Britain can claim never to have seen a seagull (often inland, following a plough, or around rubbish dumps.)

    I have a good photo taken at Roundhay Park, in Leeds. There’s a line of posts right across the lake … and a seagull perched on every one.

    And, there’s one I took on a rusty old (boat cradle?) on Kangaroo Island, where there’s a row of seagulls and a pelican … looks (to my eye, anyway) just like a class of pupils and their teacher.

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  7. A great story. Joyful and uplifting. Mindst you, give him ten years or so and he’ll repeat the experience as he walks into his first disco.
    There’s one – and another … 🙂

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  8. what a wonderful thing to share – so, so true that we can use all the reminders we can find to make sure to appreciate each and every moment – thanks for this 🙂

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  9. OTTO:
    I was born in Scotland but I probably am an Aussie considering how long I’ve lived here. G’DAY!!!!

    TRAVELRAT:
    I found it hard to believe they hadn’t ever seen a seagull, either, but as you say, Australia is a huge country. I spoke to a friend of mine who lives out in the country and she said she didn’t see the sea until she was 15. I take it for granted.

    CRAFTY GREEN:
    He was such a jolly little guy. It was hard not to feel elated standing next to him!

    RICHARD:
    Sometimes it is, you know!

    EMPLOYEE:
    You are so right. I’m going to pay a bit more attention from now on.

    MARY:
    Lovely to hear from you. You always brighten my day!

    ANTHONY:
    You always crack me up! 😆

    ROMANY:
    It’s true, isn’t it? When I used to live close to the train tracks when I was a student I used to complain occasionally about the noise until a friend of mine said trains reminded her of endings and beginnings. People going off on adventures or returning home. She was a bit of a trainspotter too. Changed my perspective.

    PAUL:
    Why thank you, kind sir!!!

    KAYT:
    It’s nice to look at things through the eyes of a child, occasionally. There is so much waiting to be seen!

    JASON:
    Thanks so much. I really appreciate you stopping by!

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  10. What a gorgeous photo, Selma! The reflections of the seagulls are incredible. There’s something so wonderful about seeing the world anew through the eyes of a child.

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  11. KATE:
    I couldn’t believe those gulls just sitting there like that. The shot came out OK even for a decidedly bad photographer like myself. I love seeing and hearing the observations of kids. Restores the zest for living a bit!

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  12. MELEAH:
    You should have seen the little boy. Soooo cute. Smart too!!

    LISA:
    Children really have such a purity of observation. I love to chat to them!

    Like

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