Thursday, 9 February 2012

Happy days

Where was I on this day? Like the man in the time machine imagined by HG Wells, the years wind backwards and so quickly I am a child again.

Searching the net I chanced across a discussion board where the first poster asked if she was alone in having no memory of fourth grade. In reply after reply people affirmed the same or similar. Spotty memory was the norm. One or two said they had many memories from their youth, but they were the exceptions.

I had a happy childhood in a family where I was loved, but the memories that are clearest are of unhappy times at school, where I was bullied for being smart and coming top of the class. Having a different accent as my parents had moved to the area didn't help. Being taunted for an aspect of my appearance made me feel like I was a deformed freak - until I became a desirable young man.

Those memories are not representative, because the unfolding world was wonderful to me. My parents shared their love of the outdoors. My father told me stories from history. I was enthralled by the stars and astronomy, our smallness in the universe. I loved reading and, on the whole, I loved school and learning. That is why I was good at it, a handicap where doing well made you a nerd or a swot.

The days of childhood may seem long gone and barely recorded, but I am shaped by them. Who I am now is built upon that core of wonder and love, even if the hurt and humiliations seemed to overwhelm me for a while in the transition to adulthood.

It has always been the case that memories I have not revisited for years will suddenly come to mind as fresh as if yesterday, like a forgotten exhibit in a museum drawer. Something in the present will echo; a train of thought will transport me to a moment long ago.

Where was I on this day? I rarely know as the years roll back, never know for sure when I reach my childhood. But I remember everyone seeming so tall. New discoveries around every corner and within every book.

Nearly two months into this process of remembering every new day and my mind seems to be building its muscles.

Days too rarely thought of to even consider forgotten come back to me. I remember how happy I was.

No comments:

Post a Comment