Monday, October 19, 2009

Mental Images

There are those times when a person doesn’t have any particular memory to associate with the mental images they see.

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 . . .


  1. My fingers and toes are now numb, but I feel quite exhilarated by the ride.

  2. Nicely done. I find that those mental images sometimes become more vivid with age. Strange thing.. but you'll see. ;)

  3. Damn, you're good! I gotta go get an extra blanket!

  4. I remember that feeling and the one of cold wind piercing my face , as I cross countried, through the snow. Nice read.

  5. Yes! That feeling of extreme exhilaration when you have no control over your fate and you know nothing worse than cold awaits you (barring any horrendous coincidental crash of someone else on top of you.) I know it well, having spent many a pleasant moment in flight at the end of a swoosh down a hill on my sturdy Flexible Flyer. Well captured!

  6. You brought back many memories, and images. Nicely written.

  7. Bruce: I knew I should have made some hot chocolate for the readers.

    Hilary: I'm already seeing them so vividly now. What does that mean?

    Catladylarew: Make it two blankets!

    plainolebob: Thanks. Nothing more vivid in the memory than cold snow.

    Suldog: Our hill was on our property, so I had no problems with accidental collisions.

    Elizabeth: Thank you!

  8. i like the mental image of snow far more than the literal one these days. nicely done :)

  9. Lime: I love both. You can't have make a memory of one without having the other.

  10. This was refreshing! LOL Read this while on a layover in the 90 degree heat and humidity of Florida. Ugh !


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