Snippets of memory
intrude my thoughts and leave me with questions
Rain came this week and didn’t leave for three days and then some. Rainy days make me lethargic and prone to sentimentality.
A memory came storming in leaving me confused about why and why now. At its worst, the fuzzy thoughts raised many questions about the veracity of the memory, but at its best, reminded me of the silent love of a father.
The exact date—lost. How he got to me—a mystery. How I knew he would come—trust. The sun beamed, or maybe hid behind the clouds the morning I rode my bike to school. The blue coaster bike with the fat tires, wire basket, rear rack, and bell served as my ride to independence.
My mind coasted along, counting the milestones along the way. Turn onto the main street, bump over the railroad tracks, sail down the other side, turn right, then left, until I see the church, the school, and the bike stand.
Then one ordinary day turned into a rainy day. The rainy day persisted until the water rose over the curbs, up into lawns cresting at doorways, creating a river a girl frightened of water could never tread.
Arms wrapped tightly around him, I sat on the back rack, terrified. Strong arms and determination pushed us through the storm waters left, then right, over the railroad tracks, off the main road, and into safety. Warmth. Home. An act spurned only by the love of a father for a child.
I pondered why this tiny memory of a rainy day rescue refused to let go.
I didn’t hear “I love you” from my dad until a few months before he died. He wasn’t perfect and never fit the image of the TV fathers of the era. But in his own way, in the only way he knew how he did the things only love would push a parent to do.
Love comes in many colors, sizes, and sounds.
I often marvel at how storms creep into the sky, suddenly sweeping the landscape.
I learned a new term, “mind pop,” random memories that “pop” into our mind for no apparent reason. I found a full research paper, but this short simple explanation will give you the gist.
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
—Langston Hughes, from “April Rain Song”
Some memories you keep close, others wander in, but only living in the moment can capture them. Make a few for yourself this week.
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