Wednesday, April 11, 2012

a memory

Sometimes something triggers an old memory. Feelings that I haven't felt for a long time resurface in such visceral ways. As I walk through my daily life, I am transported to another time and place where my inner self felt similar.

The past couple of days it's been the weather. Flat, grey clouds cover the sky. The air is warm and mild but also holds a weighty-ness. Expectation. There is no rain but you can feel that it's coming. Maybe even a thunder storm. Everything around, the birds, trees, flowers, seem to be waiting, quieter than usual. This is Michigan weather. 

It brings me back to being a child, young enough to be thinking of watching the storm from the shelter of the front porch and hoping for big puddles afterwards. Too young to be helping my mother take laundry off the line but old enough to help close a few windows in the house. The sky would darken, the world would quiet, and we would wait on the edge. Finally, the rain would come, filling the air with the dusty smell of wet pavement and the more moist, loamy smells of dirt turning to mud. Thunder would rumble and the cool air would blow across us as we stood on the porch, watching the neighbour's cottonwood shake it's silvery green leaves.

More than one memory, though, this weather brings back the feeling of being a child. Walking through our house in bare feet, hearing the baseball game on the radio, listening to cicadas buzz in the trees, feeling the pull of the seasons in my body and having time to spend thinking about that. Time to be contemplative (always that), to be free, to explore, to be bored. Truly, it was a magical time. 

As a grownup (ahem), it is so easy to get pulled by all the practical things in our lives, so easy to be caught up in the rhythm of bills and cleaning and choices instead of the shifting of the seasons. I am never bored. But I also do not feel the magic much anymore. Sometimes, when I'm watching Jacob explore something or inquire about something new, it strikes a chord in me and I remember a moment like that in my life. The wonderful, carefree, magical moments, though, are very rare, caught usually in these webs of stirred-up memory. I am fortunate to have them. When they come, I embrace them, feeling into them fully, remembering how my body used to be a place where magic was more common than stress. Maybe with more of these experiences, my body can regain some of what I have lost. I do hope so.          

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