Sunday, September 26, 2010

Waving Back

Sometimes I get so focused on surviving the here and now and creating for the future that it doesn't occur to me to stop and reflect. And then, at times - like now when my parents have just returned from the north - the past gives me a friendly wave. A simple "hi, remember me?"

I do remember. And I realise that I miss the restless chatter of poplars with their lively leaves and linen skin. I miss the green freshness of the mountain air. I miss hillsides that glide from a palette of green to a palette of gold. I miss floating down pebble-bottomed rivers the temperature of numbness. I miss night skies made of sequined satin. I miss tree forts and garden peas and rhubarb dipped in sugar. I miss living next door to Shiney Shan, in our identical company houses, with our identical dolls, and our identical names. I miss the roadside entertainment of a swamp-snacking moose, mosses and grasses and water running from its antlers. I miss watching a copper-coloured playmate chase rocks and sticks and field mice.

I joke a lot about having escaped the stifling constrictions of small town life.  I freely share my glee at flowers in February and the nearly year-round frost-freeness of my current home. And, in so doing, I also often negate how idyllic my rural childhood was.

This was my happy life for my first 17 years. I left as soon as I could, and resisted the short sojourns back. And yet, that northern farm girl with the red-rimmed gumboots and dirt-black tree pitch on her hands still roams inside the manicured woman in patent pumps that I've become. And for that I am truly, though forgetfully, grateful.


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