Jul 25, 2013 - 3:42 pm
It's been a sad time for all of us on the forum. A lot of losses, of people who meant a great deal to us, even if we knew them only in the virtual world. I lost a FB cancer friend this week as well...dead of breast cancer at the age of 41.
Sometimes I just want to turn back the clock, and think of happier things. Sometimes I want to really turn that sucker back, to the days when I was young and still more or less free of pain and grief (I say "more or less" because I didn't have a perfect childhood, by any means, but I was a kid, so what did I know? I thought life was ok.).
There are certain memories from childhood that provide me with comfort, even though they are small, and not really very meaningful.
One came to mind yesterday as I walked with my son through a meadow in a local park.
One year, when I was 13, I took part in a local tradition in the rural town where I grew up.
Kids would head out to Carlson's Farm to pick strawberries every summer. We met at the school, he piled us into a school bus, and off we went, into the countryside...labor so cheap it was practically free! But there were, of course, drawbacks to enticing the local adolescent hoards with rumors of fortunes to be made in a few, easy weeks. Many of us were "townies", unused to actual, physical labor. Add in the hormones and general goofiness of the age, and you didn't get the most reliable workforce in the history of labor.
I lasted approximately 3 hours, until the lunch break. I had no idea that picking strawberries involved groveling on my hands and knees in the dirt. And it was so hot! My carefully-coiffed, Dorothy Hamill hair style was a mess. I had only just recently discovered the concept of a "hair style" (along with the concepts of a hair brush, and regular bathing), and I wasn't about to regress for the sake of a few bucks (talking to other, more experienced kids in the field had quickly put to bed my plans to get rich by mid-July).
So I split. Me, and a couple of others (whose gender shall remain secret...you have a 50-50 chance of guessing anyway) who had also decided the whole thing was for the birds. We left the fields, and wandered off down a country road, looking to kill a few hours before the bus came back to pick us up.
Now I'm sure you're thinking something incredible or shocking is going to happen here, but...nope! Sorry to disappoint, but the sweetness of this memory has nothing to do with anything I (or my partners in crime) did. It was just the surroundings, and the experience of being in that moment that keeps this memory alive for me.
The heat on my back, the golden glow of the sun on the tall grass growing in the fields alongside the road (the grass itself a blend of green and gold that looked almost luminescent), the buzz of crickets and the calling of the field birds...it was nothing special, but for some reason, that is one room in my house of memory that I can enter when I feel down, and be uplifted. I walk along that road in memory, and it takes me away for a bit from some of the pain of the present.
Of course, I got canned by Mr. Carlson when I came back from my little adventure, and I never picked berries again. I just wasn't cut out to be a field hand, I guess.
What about you all? Any memory that helps bring you comfort in difficult times?
Lots o' love from your slacker pal~AA