Monday, August 30

Memory

Isn’t memory a strange thing? Well perhaps not memory itself but the way it manifests (or fails to). Let me explain. I had a completely exhausting week last week. We have long days anyway, with both of us working full time and the girls in before and after school care every day, but last week 4 nights out of 5 we had ‘other activities’ to attend which made for very long days away from home. Places to go, people to see you know. Add to that three very disturbed nights for me (for various reasons) and I was left utterly knackered.

So yesterday afternoon I decided to have a little nap and took myself off to bed for an hour. Lying there, slightly demented from tiredness, my mind began to wander into those mysterious places it goes been waking and sleep. I suddenly had a very comforting image of a house that I love very much. I don’t know who it belongs to but I’ve always admired it when we drove past. It sits near the top of a gently sloping hill, and is surrounded by beautiful trees. It has a small fenced field close to the house where live two chocolate brown, velvety faced donkeys. There’s just something about that house that makes me feel peaceful and content and only slightly (ahem) envious of the people lucky enough to live there.

imageThis isn’t it, but it’s not unlike it. Photo credit here

In my semi-slumber I thought ‘we must take a drive past it so I can see it. Where is it again?’ After a few moments confusion and delving into memory I recalled where it was. I also recalled that I hadn’t been there in more than 20 years. It was in Scotland, on a road we sometimes took home which my mother referred to as the ‘wee road’. We’d leave town and Mum would say to Dad ‘can we drive home on the wee road’. We all knew what she meant, it was the ‘scenic route’ and we all loved it. Part of it took us down a narrow road past a farm, in spring and summer there were always wildflowers growing at the side of the road and we’d stop and pick them. The road had steep banks and hedgerows and as we picked the flowers the Highland Cows in the field would peer curiously over the hedges at us.

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Photo by John Toms

I was a sucker for those gentle brown eyes and silky noses.

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Now I can understand that is a happy memory and I guess that somewhere in my mind something triggered that place and I probably needed that sense of comfort that it gave me. But I can’t helping feeling that ‘memory’ is a miraculous thing and a little strange. It was vivid, I could see it and feel it and smell it, for a short time it fooled my sleepy mind into thinking it was a recent memory, but it wasn’t.

I really believe we have access to everything we need inside ourselves. In the past few days I’ve had lots of realisations and epiphanies about things. I think there’s something in that memory for me examine too, I just have to work out what it is.

2 comments:

Dave said...

I have gentle brown eyes and a silky nose.

Caitlin said...

That's what I like about you Dave.