‘Quick, Mummy, we’ve got to get the train to Chicago. All aboard! Me and Granny and Pa are going to the farm, and Harry, Noah and ‘Feo.’
In one make-believe moment, Dorset merges with Illinois, and Yorkshire cousins join the journey, as Rufus travels between familiar places and people.
Wonderfully, the numerous vehicles that spin in and out of Rufus’ imaginary worlds are usually carrying favourite people. As various names slip off his tongue, I love that I’m reminded of those people myself and within the space of a few minutes can be thinking of friends back in Wheaton, family over here and, of course, Bob the Builder and Ajay the train driver from Postman Pat (the most frequent participant in these games!).
It’s frustrating that matters of borders, bureaocracy and business can’t be resolved with similar simplicity of movement as that of these games. If only we were able to get on with what seemed to be going well, seemed to be such a good idea, seemed to be the right thing to be doing without these various issues getting in the way.
But, leaving aside the frustrations and wishful thinking, we’re grateful for the familiarities of family and friends, and for how quickly Rufus’ train is filled up with passengers from all the different places in which he has felt loved and welcomed.