Sheila Quairney: “Sharing”

One seed, two lives. But very different stories. It happened on a long, sticky langorous summer’s evening. When the setting sun painted its colours of crimson and gold across the darkening sky and the birds sang themselves to sleep. The seed was planted.

It lay quietly undetected, buried deep in the dark and the warm, safe, secure and sheltered from harm. Free to grow, and develop, and mature. Or so it thought. Time passed. Then something strange started happening to the seed. A minute shifting of cells, a sensation of schism. One seed became two. Two tiny clumps of cells fighting for survival, and sharing the nourishment.

But they were not equal. The split had created two seeds of different sizes. Let’s call them Alpha and Beta. And Seed Alpha was determined to keep it that way. As the months passed, the seeds started to develop at different rates. Seed Alpha was greedy for nutrients and got bigger and bigger. While Seed Beta was smaller and unable to fight for what he needed. He just didn’t grow. In any respect. Seed Alpha didn’t care. He didn’t want to share. He wanted to be the biggest and best.

The day came for the seeds to leave the darkness of the familiar womb and to make their way out into the light. As waves of movement propelled them forward, Seed Alpha seized his moment and pushed his way out first. A healthy and robust baby. There were cries of exhausted delight. Many minutes later, little Seed Beta followed. There was silence. Two babies. A shared past. But a very different future awaited.

Seed Alpha stayed at home with his mother and got bigger and stronger. Seed Beta stayed in hospital and battled to survive. He got weaker and weaker. Eventually he gave up. Now Seed Alpha was the only baby, much loved and cosseted and worried over. He would lie in his cot and watch the patterns of light dancing over the ceiling and the curtains fluttering in the summer breeze. He was picked up and cuddled, over and over.

The parents loved their living baby and they rejoiced in his size and strength. But strangely, he wasn’t happy. There was something missing, a part of him that should have been there but wasn’t. And never would be. And it was his own fault. For taking, not sharing. As the years went by, he came to realise what he had lost. He sought out other twins to befriend and his sense of loss became more acute.

Now he is married. It’s a beautiful spring evening, their birthday. He sits under the cherry tree planted in memory of Seed Beta and toasts his tiny, missing brother. He makes a vow. Then he seeks out his new wife. And the cycle of life begins again.

How to Enrol

On-line: after bookings have opened

On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.

  • Login to the website.
  • Go to the Courses & Enrolling page.
  • Scroll down to find the course that you are interested in.
  • Does the course have spaces available?
    • Click on the course name to go to the booking page.
    • Click on “Book for this course or event”.
    • You will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.
  • OR is the course shown as FULL?
    • Click on WAITLIST.

Paper Enrolment Form: before bookings open for First Semester

  • Obtain a paper Enrolment Form either from the Office or by printing an online copy available here.
  • Complete the paper Enrolment Form and submit it to the Office.

The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt.  Paper Enrolment forms are processed by U3APP volunteers on the same day as on-line bookings.

If your enrolment is successful, you will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.

If your enrolment is unsuccessful,  you will receive an email telling you that you have been waitlisted.

Via the Office: after bookings have opened

  • Contact the office in person, or by email or phone.