Monday, October 19, 2009
They know the event happened. Yet it might have happened many times, and many things may interweave with it to create the special memory. Sights, tastes, and smells linger within the past as they happen in brief flashes of mental clarity within the present.
I close my eyes and see a hill of white, tasting and smelling the metallic iron within the cold on the windward side of the slope. Steam clouds around my nose and mouth, a brief flash of heated existence showing life within the folds of my gray tufted coat. My boots crunch through the top crust, sinking, greeting the soft billowy snow hidden under the ice.
I sit on the three hard slats of the wooden sled, my body almost level with the tips of the towering pine trees, well over 30ft tall. Their swaying branches show flashes of the road and the yellow rotating light on top of the plow truck while it sprinkles salt on the icy asphalt.
I lift snow boots and place them on the sled rudder in front. My mitten-covered hands grip the length of twine tight.
The wind whistles past my head as I ride my sled down the hill. My rudder shifts to the left, avoiding one tree while my head ducks under the branches of another. My eyes squeeze tight at the stinging wind and the sight of the upcoming snow drift.
My hands release the twine cord and lift high. I toss back my head and holler in delight at the anticipation for the sudden stop when the rudder meets snow.
The sled has stopped, yet my body keeps moving forward. A spray of snow erupts as my body smacks into the large, cold mound. Giggles sound among the groans. I climb out, shivering at those flakes sneaking past the coat zipper to brush up against my neck. I grab the twine and start my climb back to the hill’s top.
I get ready to do it again.
I open my eyes yet the memory lingers, swirling at the front of my mind as warm breath mist. It was winter with no specific time frame - many winters of yesteryear combined as one memory. A flash of my childhood, crisp in its realness and belonging only to my viewpoint.
Such interesting stories we can create from these mental images . . .