Footprints in Your Heart

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints in our hearts and we are never ever the same.

Flavia Weedn

This quotation has been bugging me for the last few weeks, ever since Mark and I went for a cycle ride in the late-summer sunshine.

You see, for my birthday, we found ourselves a couple of bikes, mine a lovely ladies’ hybrid with a wicker basket just the right size for a small picnic, water, and emergency pro-thingies. In case of emergency. We might get lost.

And this quotation has been nagging at the back of my mind since, not because of nostalgic thoughts about the people of my past, but because of the books and stories of my past.

It was the “pro-thingies” which did it. Do you know about pro-thingies?

Mark looked blankly at me when I mentioned the emergency pro-thingies, in this instance some apple puffs.

It is, you see, a reference to Winnie the Pooh, when he goes on an expedition with Christopher Robin, Owl, Rabbit (and all of his friends and relations) et al to the North Pole. It is the sort of reference which is part of my family’s language. I’m not sure that the original pro-things were supposed to be emergencies, but they always are for us.

Pooh's Thinking Cushion

We walked the Two Moors Way once, with emergencies every day, about elevensies-time, when we stopped for our emergency Mars bars or Snickers or whatever happened to be the pro-thingies for the day. They were actually needed one day, when the map-reader took us on a “short cut” to a pub which wasn’t there. So we huddled in a bus-shelter, eating our emergency rations, while he worked out a new route to where we were supposed to go.

I think it’s the mark of a good book/story, whether its phrases or ideas find their way into common parlance, either with the general public, or as part of a family’s language. They make footprints in our hearts and minds – in our language – and help to make us who we are.

The question, though, is: are they woozle footprints, or wizzles?

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