Some places from my past seem to insist on being revisited. I wonder if I’ve inadvertently leaked a little of my soul’s energy in these places and then can’t ignore the tug from that energy to return to the spot – just to breathe it into my essence again.
That’s how I felt about a small town I lived in when I was between the ages of 2 and 4 ½. Although I moved into three different houses in this particular town, I remember them all very well. So well, in fact, that when I was driving through there last weekend, I could easily find them on my own without any help or directions from anyone. The last time I was there was about 44 years ago (which is weird, cause I’m only 36!).
I don’t just have a faint memory of this town despite how very young I was when I lived there, no I remember many details – of the houses, the neighbours, the things I did back then, even thoughts I had.
My mom was with me on this last visit and I actually had to correct her on certain things.
“No she didn’t live beside us; she lived across the road from us in that house. Remember mom?”
To be fair, I did live there with my grandparents for some time before my mother joined us. She had been going to Business College out of town and would visit whenever she could until she graduated and then she and I lived on our own together. We started off right in town and then settled in a home just a few houses down from my grandparent’s house.
As we drove into town my mom said “There’s the Dairy Queen you and I would go to every Friday night. We would share an order of fries. Do you remember?”
“Yes I do remember, and then you would play your guitar for me when we got home.”
“You Are My Sunshine!” we both blurted out in unison.
She told me she still gets teary whenever she hears that song and I confessed to her that when I was a young woman if any guy called me Sunshine, I was his. ¯\_(“-)_/¯
I pointed to an area and said I was sure there used to be a park over there. Yes, it was true. Lots of memories were flooding back but I didn’t want to talk, I just wanted to have them all wash over me and take me back to another time. An innocent time.
Aside from the many clear memories I have of that town there is one moment waaaaay back that will always stay with me. I had climbed into one of the apple trees in our front yard and then relaxed my back against a slanted branch. I fit perfectly in the arms of that old tree and I felt completely protected. I watched clouds drift across the bluest of blue skies and I knew I was a part of it all; that I was connected to everything. Now that may sound like a pretty heavy thought to have at 3 years old, but is it? I bet we all knew it when we were very small but gradually forgot along the way.
I wanted to go back and lean against that apple tree once more; I wanted to feel safe and connected and brand new again. Sadly, the tree had been removed long ago; my grandparents are gone now too but as I stood gazing at the place they’d all once been, I realized something. I may not feel brand new but I’m still safe and most importantly – my connection to them, to all of it, never ends. I breathed in deeply and then walked back to the car. I left feeling energized by the experience once again. My essence restored.