Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Memory by Fire

The air is cold and filled with falling snow. The sidewalk is slippery with ice and trampled snow. It's still winter. We're running through the tail end of the season all across the country. The days are getting longer and the nights shorter. The snow is thawing and freezing, thawing and freezing, starting the death throes that will turn March into April and winter into spring.

Thoughts run through my mind as I walk home one night. My stare is low, towards the ice patch in front of me. My step is careful. I walk by an old church made of boulders big enough for a Trebuchet to siege a castle. I guess I only assume it's old, because of the building material. It doesn't much matter, I like walking by to look at the rocks.

I go by carefully when I smell a smell that takes me back. It wasn't a sudden memory, it snuck up on me gradually. Before I knew it I was transferred back to my childhood. My memory was deep and vivid. I was not thinking about my childhood, I was in my childhood. I was sitting next to the woodburning stove at the farm in the cold winters of the past. The air was freezing but the fire was too hot. I rotated to keep an even warmth, too long in one position and half my body would be burnt and the other half too cold. The sight and sound were strictly from when I was young, but the strongest sense for me was the smell. It was the smell that warped me back in time. It was the smell that bridged the gap between the present and past. It was the salty, smoky smell of a fire burning in the stone church.

I came back to the current and shuffled through the ice field safely. I continued on home a little brighter, a little happier, my smile a little larger. My trip reminded me of what was and what will be and what I have now.

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