The droplets appear as if formed by a pipette and placed on a slide for a research scientist to magnify under a microscope.
*Whenever I see traces of tears on a human face I think of those painted on clowns.
A couple of droplets, outlined in black and drawn below each sorrowful eye for the whole world to see, as if sadness is a stain they alone must carry.
*Whenever I see a clown I'm reminded of one that was held in a mirror.
Her face a sad white mask that glumly stared out at me and never let me see the whole of my reflection.
*Whenever I see a mirror, I think of shining water.
Its surface so calm that nothing, not even a light breeze, could disturb its tranquillity.
*Whenever I see a body of shining water, I think of a longboat.
Drifting gently, in which sits an unaccompanied lady with golden hair. Her mind in turmoil but her exterior, like the lake, unruffled.
*Whenever I see a boat, any boat, I think of the sea.
Choppy, crashing waves, incoming and outgoing tides, salty air, and seagulls that wheel and scream overhead.
*Whenever I see the sea stretching ahead of me, I think of and look for distant lands.
I search the horizon for anything that could be land or people as if only I might spy what others before me have missed.
*If I have the good fortune to spy and then travel to distant lands, then I think of home.
Of everything that awaits my return, yet continues to exist as I exist in places foreign to me.
*When I see home, a watery film forms over my eyes and threatens to spill.
And this makes me think of a pot of flowering tea, which makes me think of the old apple tree in the far corner of the garden where there once was a swing with a red seat.
*When I remember the swing, my mind sees a man with a green watering can in a different garden, which also had a small paddling pool and a slide.
*When I think of the man with the watering can, I see a pale orange car with black leather seats, and remember how these would burn the backs of my thighs.
*When I remember my red-marked thighs, I see childhood summers: cotton dresses and white ankle socks and shoes with buckles; long days of made-up play and family gatherings which were full of colour and filled with food.
*Whenever I reminisce about those summers, I also think of their endings.
The hugged goodbyes, not wanting to let go but knowing I had to for another school year beckoned.
*Whenever I visualise endings, I think of beginnings.
New life, like the arrival of Spring and cherry blossom, and gold bands on fingers.
Picture credit: The Flowering Apple Tree, 1912, Piet Mondrian