Posted tagged ‘spring jacket’

“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

February 26, 2016

Gracie snores, and last night she snored so loudly she kept waking me up. My bedtime was late enough without being disturbed by her multiple snores and an occasional snort. I’m tired and it is only 11 o’clock. Gracie, of course, is having a morning nap. The poor baby must be tired.

Cold day today, it is in the high 30’s, but the sun is shining so I’m not going to complain. When I went to get the papers, I heard birds singing to greet the morning. It sounded like spring to me.

I have random memories which loop through my mind. Some I see only once while others recur. Some of my memories of growing up are faded and worn while others are so bright they could have happened yesterday. My grey jacket reappears out of one my memory drawer every spring. It was my favorite jacket because I started wearing it only when the weather got warmer. It had no lining. It did have pockets on each side, and it had a zipper. My brightest memory is wearing that jacket and skipping on the sidewalk on my way to school.

I still remember biology and dissecting a frog. My memory drawer has a picture of the frog lying on its back on a silver lab tray. It looks washed out, too long preserved. My lab partner wanted nothing to do with that frog and the scalpel. It was left to me. She took all the notes. That was our deal. Making the first cut took me a while. I had to forego the urge to gag. Dead frogs didn’t bother me, but their insides were better left inside.

My first Ghana memory is of the morning after our arrival. My room was on the second floor of a school dorm. I remember walking outside, standing at the rail and looking at what was spread out below me. I saw greenery everywhere. I could see rusty tins roofs. I remember the awe. I was in Africa.

My memory drawers overflow. Some I can’t even open; others I can’t shut. The sad memories have their own places. Sometimes they come unbidden. They are not always welcome.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

March 26, 2013

The snow never materialized last night but it did sleet then rain for a short while, and the morning still bears the remnants of the storm though storm seems a bit grandiose a description for a bit of rain and sleet. Our familiar gray skies are back, but the sun has been making quick visits then disappearing to wherever it’s been going for what seems like weeks. I watched the bird feeders while my coffee was dripping, and my suet feeder had a huge guest, a flicker. I also noticed the gold finches are getting brighter. The tops of the hyacinths are appearing above their leaves, and there are several daffodil buds. I think we’re in the two steps forward and only one step back part of spring. It makes me hopeful for one really warm day when I can sit on the deck, close my eyes and fall asleep with the sun on my face.

The perfect day when I was about ten was always in the spring. It was warm and sunny but not hot. I’d wear my spring jacket, my favorite of all jackets. It had a front zipper and was pale pink. The first wearing of that jacket was a symbol back then though symbolism was lost on the young me. I just knew I loved my jacket because it was light and pink and had replaced the heavy, dark winter coats and layers we’d worn for months. Wearing it was the acknowledgment the season had finally changed and winter was passed.

On my perfect day, usually a Saturday, I’d go down the cellar and maneuver my bike out the door and up the stairs. That was never easy. The door faced a wall so the angle was all wrong. I had to lift the front wheel in the air to get the back wheel out. Once up the stairs I’d get on my bike, ride across the side lawn and down the grassy hill, a maneuver forbidden by my dad who’d yell later when he saw the tire marks. I’d always get the how many times do I have to tell you lecture, but the little ride was worth it. My dad just didn’t get how neat it was to start my adventure by going down his small hill. From there, I’d sometimes ride down the big hill on which we lived or I’d take the side street and head toward the field with the horses. I remember how bright the sun seemed and how the trees had buds and the grass was finally turning green. I’d see the colors of the spring flowers blooming above the ground. The air smelled fresh and brand new. I always took my time, not wanting to miss a single thing though I’d taken that same route so many times. I remember feeling joyful and as alive as spring as I rode through the small streets.

I have that same feeling every year on the very first warm spring day even without my bike.