Reflections/Life

Flashes

Sometimes I’m doing something perfectly ordinary. Fitting sheets on the bed. Washing the dishes.

And I have one of my “flashes.” It springs into my mind and is there for only a few seconds and then disappears like a lightning bug in the dark of night. Going, gone and I reach out for it. Try to bring it back.

But it is elusive. Out of reach.

Running up the humpbacked shape of the cellar when I was a child. Feeling the grassy dirt beneath my feet, then coming back down the other side in heady delight. A whooshing of wind breathes on my face.

The little gas stove that kept us warm, the only heating in the house. I would often have stomach aches at night and I’d sit still as a stone in front of it. Wishing the knots of pain away. I remember the blue gauzy lines of gas and the heat coming from it.

The slats of light in the hen house roof. When I open the door to gather the eggs, it stirred up the dust. And soft billowy feathers would float in the air. Lit up and glowing in the stream of light.

The warmth of the dirt underneath me as I played in the garden. Digging holes with sticks and letting lady bugs crawl up my arm. Turning and turning my arm and they stayed in motion, never falling. It seemed a miracle of gravity.

Running through the narrow rows of corn stalks. Whipping my face with whiskery blades but still I kept running. Faster and faster until I came out the other side. As though something invisible had chased me.

I never seem to have complete memories come to me whole cloth. They are bits and pieces and snatches of time that somehow wormed into my brain and stayed there.

Nothing all that important really. Just common things and reminders of what it felt like to be a child on a hot summer day or a cold night in the 1960s. The breeze lifting my dark hair and cooling my neck. The bitter cold air that froze around the windows.

Of time almost standing still.

I am the wind and the rain and the stifling heat all at once. I am the shifting gears of childhood.

I look at the sky and feel as though it can lift me up and up. Where I can ease through the white fluffy clouds and possibly, possibly touch the stars.


You might also be interested in checking out these reflective posts…

  • The Mirror Doesn’t Lie
    You stand in front of the bathroom mirror. Who is that woman staring back at you? Maybe you should turn the light off. See if that pretty young girl will at least make a brief…
  • Morning Memories
    Funny the things you think about the first hour you’re awake. The subjects that roll through your mind like a steadily turning film reel. I thought of the over 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in this country…
  • The Thing About Decisions
    Last night I dreamed of some of the decisions I’ve made over my lifetime. They weren’t laid out like they actually happened. Most dreams aren’t. They are a compilation of fiction and reality and mixed…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 Comments

  1. I love the way you write about live. Memories are beautiful and this is why I love to take photos! They remind me of good moments in my life, it’s amazing! When I have a worse day it’s good to go through the photo album! I also really like to take pictures of my plants. Especially from their very beginning. This year I took lots of photos of my vegetable garden as I planted many amazing plants! For example for the first time I planted carrots in different colors which seeds I bought on https://gardenseedsmarket.com/carrot-multicolour-variety-mix-coated-seeds.html . What do you think about them? Have you ever eaten them?

  2. I have those moments, too. My parents both alive and well, smiling and interacting with me…then whoosh it’s gone. If only we could hold on to those moments just a little longer…

  3. Beautiful post ! I have wonderful memories of my childhood also. Lately I have been thinking of my childhood more than usual. Maybe because of what is going on in the world today makes us reflect on the past !

  4. WOW! That was stirring. You always have a wonderful effect on me, whether it’s digging up memories or making me ponder things I wouldn’t ordinarily think of, you keep my mind busy.
    Thank you.

  5. Thanks to Kris for two lovely sentences:
    ” Oh to be little again and innocent and enjoy just the simple things in life. Happy New Week.”
    Kris

    I have never heard or seen the comment, Happy New Week”. We could all use a happy new week!! Thanks Kris!

  6. The word flashes is a good way to describe the bits of memories that pop up at odd times. It is so strange how it seems like we remember only a few seconds of a day — why those few seconds? Surely the rest of the day is stored away somewhere?

    As a person who also was a child in the early 1960s, and growing up in a semi-rural area, I have some flashes of memories that are somewhat similar to ones you have described. I’ll share two memories that were separate but fit together. I have a bit of memory of standing by the wooden bin of feed corn in my grandfather’s barn when I was maybe six years old. The barn was dusty and dim but had a pleasant, earthy smell. I was alone because none of my siblings or cousins would go into the barn. Our grandfather was grumpy and we all knew he would yell at us to get out. But I wanted to grab a few kernels of the corn so I could start a garden with it. So that’s all there is of that memory, just a brief moment of standing in the barn. I have another slip of memory from about that same time, of me standing alone in the back yard at my house in a semi-rural neighborhood, looking down at a little bit of bare earth. I was wondering why the corn I planted had not sprouted. I don’t know if this was the next day or the next month from when I stole that corn from the barn. I don’t really remember planting the corn, but I do have this memory of wondering why it wasn’t growing. What I realize now that I didn’t think of then is, I had planted the corn out in the yard where my dad pushed the lawn mower! Even if it did sprout, he would have run right over it with the mower since I didn’t tell him that I had planted anything. I didn’t want to get in trouble for stealing the corn! What I wonder now is, what if the corn had indeed germinated and some stalks had pushed up above the grass? What did I plan to say then? My parents might have wondered why corn was suddenly growing in the yard. If I had taken credit for the corn crop, they would have known I stole the seeds! I certainly had not thought through all the possible outcomes, but, after all, I was just a kid. Really, the best part of these memories is that I’m reminded that I got my interest in planting and growing things when I was very young, mostly from watching my maternal grandparents on their little farm.

  7. Beautifil. Brings back memories of my childhood. Many beautiful memories of a time when children could run and play and expand their unique talents of imagination. I enjoy your posts. Your writing skills are a wonderfil talent.

    1. A simpler time…I don’t have a lot of memories,my Mom had heart disease,lots of hospitalizations,she passed when I was 12,Dad,2 years later,he had remarried, stepmother really was the wicked witch if the west…We( younger brother and I) wound up living with her for 10 months,then we were transported to our Grandmother, behavior issues,ya think?
      She passed right before my HS graduation.
      I cherish my children and try to make good memories with them and the grands.
      Rainy and cloudy in NY this Monday,the garden is beautiful!