I am honored to host Memoir Mondays!
This is our very first, of hopefully many, Mondays devoted to the craft of memoir! For a little insight into what Memoir Mondays are all about, please click here.
If you'd like to join us, please go ahead, grab the button on the right ( which my 12 year old created! I love love love it! Isn't it gorgeous? I told him "something with a typewriter-ish font and a few roses." .And there you have it. He's the best!) ). Link up for some sharing and story telling! The more the merrier!
So here goes: Memoir:
William Maxwell, the fiction editor of the "New Yorker" for more than forty years, believed that to write, all you need is to remember the slam of your childhood home's front door. That got me thinking deeply about fleeting memories evoked by little things: a snapshot, the tiny snippet of a song even, of childhood things.
And so I began a 'childhood stream of consciousness' and I thought back to the 70s, the 80s and our family's annual jaunts to upstate New York and how my husband and I now bring our kids to these very mountains :
The broad, beckoning, deep-blueness of the lakes? There is no name, no container for this blue. It is too crystal, too sweeping, too untainted, too breathtaking.
This fortress of old growth forests? Striking soldiers of pine against sapphire skies. Hardy maples offering quiet shade to the littlest of creatures, creating sun dappled beauty on the shoreline. Magically coloring peach, crimson, burnt orange, rust, in autumn.
These mountains that call us perennially? They sit in quiet guard always. They rejuvenate. Their very name resounds with distinction, vastness. And for us, familiarity, a coming home. A feeling of privileged return.
This rich fabric of history? Our collective history. These mountains echo with battle cries of the brave and the mighty. Those with strong belief in their cause. Wars that pitted God’s sons against each other over borders. And principles. And pride. It is the story of us all, fought for them and fought for us. For we are their future.
And the tapestry of our family history, here, in this serenity? Often it comes crashing with such ferocity, I am back again. It is 1973 or it is 1978 or it is 1982. Ans I am here as a child.
Or it is 2012. And these squealing, splashing, fishing, frolicking kids are mine.
There is a rickety redwood picnic table. There are bare, sandy feet. There are stacks of books and board games. And up on Route 9, there is the comforting fixture of our American flag waving, though largely unnoticed. There is homemade potato salad and a plate stacked with slices of tomato and cucumber. There are fishing rods leaning by the cabin door; haphazard piles of sandals and flip flops alongside.
Today there was dock jumping and row boating and mussel hunting. Then as the sun dipped low behind the mountains ringing Schroon, after a day all too fleeting, there is the whisper-y fragrance of citronella and hickory barbeque and the familiar July crescendo of cicadas.
There is the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia, easily spied overhead night after night in the vast, velvety blankness. There is someone randomly asking, “Can anyone spot the Pleiades?” and “Who’s up for a game of Trivial Pursuit?”
And most vividly, there are hushed, happy voices, familiar lilts and inflections, saying nothing of huge importance, but enveloping me in safe-ness. Just as I hope that we are creating a haven that shrouds our kids in much the same...the safety, the memories, the goodness.
Friends, as always,
thank you for stopping over and
spending some of your precious time
here at my home on the web!
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Until next time,