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The Heart of the Matter

Photo copyright:
Photo copyright:Kelvin M Knight.

Times were hard, food of any sort was difficult to source. It was her daughters first day at school. The pantry held two slices of stale bread. Love was easy to give. Finding food, that was pure hell. She had used all that nature had provided, corn, apples, nuts, nettles all were gone. With the last of the rose hip jelly she filled the heart shaped indentation in one slice of bread. The other slice she returned to the shelf for her daughters evening meal. When Natasha was at school, she would comb the shore for razor clams.

Footnote: Razor Clams are a edible mollusc, they are also known as a Jackknife clam.

St Annes Sand
St Annes Beach
This Post Has 68 Comments
  1. When all else is gone there is still a pot of rosehip jelly! Desperate times, I like that she saved the bread for her daughter and went without herself, the ultimate sacrifice.

  2. Worryingly enough, such times might come upon this world sooner than anticipated. Hopefully, love and sacrifice should still have some values then.

  3. Love was easy to give; finding food was pure hell. Unfortunately I live in a country where this is the truth for far too many people. Breaks my heart every time.

  4. Natasha’s mum sounds resourceful as well as self-sacrificing. I guess she’ll find a way to pull them through. This story has great resonance. The mum sounds as though she may be in a developed country, and yet still on the verge of starvation. How, and why, I ask myself. Well written, Michael.

  5. Very well told and poignant. As to social inequality, it’s tragic to see the Jean Claude Duvaliers of this world gobbling up all the foreign aid funds while the storms sweep over and the people starve.

    We’ve friends in Haiti who set up a maternity clinic up in the mountains about eight years ago. They told us that of the last nine pregnancies in the few months before they arrived not one had produced a living child. Malnutrition coupled with poor hygiene and general ignorance of pre- and post- natal care.

    1. Thank you Christine, sadly it seems that many countries have the likes of J C Duvalier. So I thank heaven for the individuals who truly work for equality and to improve the lot of the poorest in humanity.

      1. That is something former American President Dwight D. Eisenhower observed, that basically spending on war steals food from the hungry, and “In preparation for war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

        It is sad that my own country, USA, spends more on defense than the next 48 countries combined, and has people living in a level of poverty associated with developing countries.

    1. I agree – when I see good food being thrown away it hurts. I still have my ration card from when I was a young child. Whilst only five generation back some of my ancestors fled from starvation in Ireland

  6. A very sorry plight and that of many unfortunately in this world. What a resourceful mother. But you know what Michael, this is also a very hopeful story at the same time. The clouds with the silver lining stand out 🙂

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