Reflections/Life

Wool Gathering

When I was a child I was all skinny legs and knobby knees. I had wavy brown hair and big green eyes.

I didn’t like to be noticed. To be noticed was to make those around me remember someone else.

I wished to be invisible so no one could see me.

Inside my head a lot went on. I just didn’t say the thoughts out loud. I lived in a state of reverie.

Harmless wool gathering.


Childhoods never last. But everyone deserves one. – Wendy Dale

The summer days wore the sameness of a stubborn bruise. No school for months. Just me and my thoughts.

Thunderstorms and humid heat and not much in between.

I wondered who I’d some day become. Years and years away when I had outgrown my knobby knees and pig tails.

What and who was out there waiting for me?

In my head I’d lay the possibilities out in front of me. Smooth out the creases of the map and squint my eyes to see all the tiny corollaries that spread in all directions.

All the little roads that would eventually lead to who I was and where I came from. So that I could stop looking back and turn forward instead.

The trees in the yard seemed to be lined up like soldiers saluting their commander.

I was always stumbling over roots in the yard and walked around with scabby knees covered with band-aids. So many roots, spreading in all directions.

I wondered if the roots reached toward one another underneath the dirt and held gnarly hands throughout the ages.


“Childhood is a promise that is never kept.” – Ken Hill


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15 Comments

  1. I was much like you as a child. I tried to be invisible in my home since that was the best way to stay safe from a tyrannical and angry alcoholic father. I spent my summers outside wandering the empty lots where homes had yet to be built in the brand new subdivision of homes my family lived in. The best times were spent out in the nearby former fields of the farmers and still wooded areas. I think that’s where I developed my love of plants as I gathered bouquets of wildflowers. My mind was always busy but most often focused on staying unnoticed. It seems sad to think about it in that way now.
    Even now, my mind can carry me away to far away places I have visited and I can retrace the steps I trod. It’s one of the ways I keep myself sane now that I’ve lost so much mobility to my Ankylosing Spondylitis. Today I learned that the arthritis has now infiltrated my TMJ joint on one side. To counter getting upset, I started to construct a list of foods that I can still eat (soft) or can be cut into small enough pieces to push them into my mouth between my teeth. My favorite food (soft ice cream) is at the top of my list! So that’s my winning moment of today! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Jan

  2. So enjoying your thoughts, feelings and honesty in your posts. Today as I was saying goodbye to one of our grandchildren who is moving away, we talked about my old age and how much I embrace it. Do I like the aches and pains, not especially, but I am happy where I am in life and certainly look forward to more years. During this difficult pandemic it seems to me that our garden and the canning and preserving has kept us busy and content. Blessings to you Brenda from Carolyn in Florida

  3. Brenda, love the gnarly hands image and think you should consider turning your musings into a book. A lonely little girl growing up in the country that stumbles upon a….

  4. Lovely, Brenda! I used to read a lot as a child…I loved all the places I could go. And my knees and elbows were constantly covered in bandages…so much exploring to do lol.

  5. I love these kinds of posts that reflect on the past and provoke one to think of who we have become and the journey that brought us to where we are now. Keep them coming. Also, just wanted to say I have plant envy. My green thumb turned brown this year! Have a good day!

    1. I commiserate with you. My green thumb is feeling a bit brown this year too. High hopes for a new astilbe and for a swath of alyssum. Stalled. Just sitting there. Elephant ears look more like mouse ears.

  6. I remember having banged-up knees and elbows. There were bike wrecks and falls from roller skating and tripping while playing hop scotch, for instance. We were doctored up with mercurochrome and a plain Band-aid. But at some point mercurochrome was declared unsafe due to containing mercury, and disappeared from use. I guess kids nowadays get Band-Aids with Disney characters and get Triple Antibiotic ointment.

  7. This was easier to read. I guess we all wondered like that. Who would think the world would change as much as we have!

  8. Absolutely love the new look! Refreshing…..you always are so inspiring! Enjoy your day and stay safe!

  9. I am a strawberry blonde reddish hair. And that made me get noticed also . Called carrot top sometimes and I did not like it either.

    Those purple flowers wow you really caught the essence of those. Just beautiful.

  10. I enjoyed the food for thought in this post.
    and I love the new look with the writing. it’s light… like the air…
    and somehow it seems more in keeping with the thought…
    a lightness of being.
    the older I get the more I aspire to that.