It never ceases to amaze me where my childhood memories will stem from. First, I should tell you that I have a difficult time remembering my childhood. I had a childhood illness that has made my long-term memory fuzzy. Generally, I remember only bad things because those get repeated over and over again in my head forcing me to remember them. That is part of my mental illness. But every now and again, something will draw out of me childhood memories. I cherish this because it happens so rarely.
Today, after reading Shawn Bird’s poem Rockery, I was able to relive two memories. The first was the many times while out playing with my sister, I would fall down on pine cones and tear up the same place on my knee. While this is a painful memory, it is also a happy one. We lived in a small house in the country surrounded by a pine tree grove. A slim path led from our house through the woods to a neighbor’s house where my sister and I would go to play with the twins who lived there. My sister always ran ahead of me and I tried my best to keep up, but usually ended up stumbling and falling on the pine cones that covered the path. These were simpler and happier times for me before life got too complicated.
The next memory was of the hen and chicks that my paternal grandmother always grew in terracotta pots in the yard. I remember sitting on the porch staring at them and wondering how they could survive our harsh winters. I guess grandmother brought them inside in the winter, but at that time I had no clue. They were just so small and delicate. I remember thinking once that I wished I was a hen and chick, living in those pots and just soaking up the sun and rain. Again, a simpler and happier time in my life.