I want to remember what it was like back when we were all still there. Momma, Daddy, and me. And of course, our pets too; the cantankerous but tolerant old orange tabby – Catfish, our beautiful Irish setter – Dakota, and our white kitten – Keelie (who died and was buried down by the pond under a big white rock). The house painted warm yellow.
Tall broad windows invited sun through cheesecloth curtains onto lazy golden curls of a young daughter’s crown.
Me, two years old, wearing beautiful hand-knit sweaters. They itched my neck but were definitely good for collecting tokens of my daily adventures: soft grey rabbit fur, long wiry horse hairs, drips of home-made vanilla ice cream that Daddy used to churn right out on the long wooden front porch. Stained with sticky fingered wipes of fresh berries and tomatoes I snuck straight off the vines in the garden.
Momma’s hair was long then and she smelled of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap and patchouli. She sat on an antique bench in the drooping sunset, weaving baskets. Metal tubs sat by her feet, filled with dye bleeding colors like plum and raspberry and honey.
She filled my innocent ears with sweet songs of swinging on moonbeams and raindrops on roses.
Daddy had a thick chestnut-colored beard that he would brush across my plump cheeks to make me giggle uncontrollably. He smelled healthy, like freshly chopped wood and salty sweet sweat, and sometimes faintly like Momma. His plaid wool shirts were scratchy but comforting.
// Back in February, I shared a post about starting a mini-series on writing. Remembering that I want to share some of my in progress writing inspired me to share this snippet with you. Last month, I took an incredible writing workshop (through the Exhale creative community) with Sonya Spillman called Writing With Purpose. I shared a little more of that experience here.
One of our first assignments in the workshop was to write out a life map. I sat down, wrote out the years of my life on a series of pages in my journal. Then I proceeded to organize the memories of my life into some semblance of order. The interesting thing about what I just shared, is that I actually don’t remember any of those things specifically. All of what is written is pieced together from photographs stored in a worn green picture album and by using my imagination.
I don’t really have vivid memories of my childhood.
What I do have, are boxes of old photographs, childhood diaries, and stacks upon stacks of journals. The words and photos from those collections, in addition to the retelling of my life’s events by various participants, weave interpretation and perspective into the tapestry of my memories.
Remembering is interesting like that.
Thanks for being here with me.