Friday, August 10, 2012

Filling My Memory Bank and Drawing Out From It

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Filling My Memory Bank and Drawing Out From It
This morning early as I stood looking out over the back yard the rain was falling gently.  It was cool and the smell was amazing.

I shut my eyes and listened to the sound of the rain drops hitting the canopy above the deck and then dripping on to the deck below.

There was a perfect stillness in the scene. Nothing was moving.

Suddenly I was on Cheung Chau Island off the coast of China and apart of Hong Kong.  My daughter Anda was in Grade Six at the time and we were part of her class’s weeklong retreat on that Island.  We were staying at the Caritas Retreat Centre.

As I was whisked away to that early morning on Cheung Chau I could smell the wet tree around the Retreat Centre. I could hear the rain drops hitting the roof and the drops of water falling on to something outside to the windows.

I had been up for about an hour before others were stirring. Alone on a remote Chinese island a million miles from my Canada and the life that I once knew as a boy on the Prairie of Western Canada.

I remembered this morning the feeling that day of missing my home on the Prairie. At that moment at the Caritas House I was thinking of when I was a boy sitting in that east room of my grandparent’s old farm house… and dreaming of what I might do some day.  I wondered what was out there so far away from that Prairie farm house…  Would I ever be able to see some of the things that were in the National Geographic Magazines?

It happened again this morning early.  Two flash backs came in a short while. I was in my mid-forties in one of them and I was 12 in the other.
Wow!  What a feeling that came today from the simple sound and smell.  All of that locked up inside of my memory.  It is hard to believe that after 56 years and 25 years that they are this much intact.

It has caused me to think that my memories are my greatest treasure now at 68.  What I have done and what I have experienced is by far the best in my life. 

I am not yet filthy rich.  I have lots of things collected but none of it is as valuable as the memories.

In the Mall on a hot day recently a little girl about 4 years old came by my table of wood carvings. She came up to the table and reached up to the carved Golf Balls.  Her mommy told to her to just look and not touch.  Her little hand picked up and golf ball and felt its weight… then grinned.

As I came close to her you could smell the hot little head. She had just come in out of the hot air outside and smelled.  She was so much like my daughters when they were small… whoa… another flash back. 

I was a young dad walking with my daughter on a knoll not far from our apartment in Oakville, Ontario.  My daughter was walking beside me on that small path leading down to the creek below. We sat down and she pushed up beside me. He head was wet with perspiration and she smelled good….

Memories locked away inside.

My mom came out of her room the other day with a magazine that had photos in it from away back in the wartime of WW II.  She said, “I remember times like this…” and passed me the magazine.

She is 91 years and 6 months old… and the memories are still very much intact as well.

In the last weeks we have spent wonderful days beside Little Lake in Peterborough.  We have been sitting in the park at Roger’s Cove watching the ducks and the people that come and go.  For well over 4 hours and sometime for 6 hours we have sat still and enjoyed every minute of the day.  Literally now we have stored hundreds upon hundreds of memories together.

This past Monday we were at the park. My Mom was sitting further towards the lake from where we were.  A duck walked up to her chair and nibbled on string hanging down.  Then the duck walked around and plucked at her shoe strings… finally it settled beside her on the grass and went to sleep.  It stayed for a long time beside this old lady.

Was the duck a Great Grandmother too?

Mom sat quietly just looking at the duck and remembering… things from long ago…

I will remember the summer of 2012… with my Mom sitting at Roger’s Cove and Mrs. Duck….

This summer I made a new commitment. I will store as many faces and people in my memory bank as possible.

Whoa… gotta run… I have a full day of memories to store away now…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

My Mom and Mrs. Duck at Roger’s Cove… the quiet moments...
Mom has her walker sitting in front of he rocking chair.. the duck is on her left side - close to her chair...

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