Our minds are interesting organs. They retain our memories including poems we learned in school, songs we sang along with the radio (wrong lyrics and all). I will be listening to a song I haven’t heard for decades but my brain can still revive the memories so I can sing along.
I was thinking of memory sparks today. Memory sparks are anything that makes you think of a certain person, song, or event.
One spark for me is donuts, and it doesn’t matter what kind of donut either. When I see a donut I remember Jelly Bellies – it was small outlet under the Bentall Centre in Vancouver. The memory is myself and my Dad laughing at the name as we did our lunchtime stroll through the tunnel under the building. We laughed a lot on our walks and most of the time it didn’t seem to take much but to us it was laughable, and undoubtedly the best part of working downtown were the memories with my Dad.
Another spark for me is hay bales.I remember visiting the farm near Prince Albert when I was a skinny youngster and Grandpa driving the tractor as we went out into the fields to collect bales. I was a healthy city kid but not used to toting bales but my Uncle ken strolled along at ground level and tossed hay bales up into the trailer where I nudged them into place, albeit after they bounced off me. Sun, fresh air, straw in my hair and Uncle Ken using a needle to take out a piece of wood under the skin in my hand. A memory of Grandpa, my Uncle Ken, and a special time and place. Sparks every time I see a bale of hay.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of fresh bread in my life but every time I do I remember living in Quesnel, and fresh bread baked at home by my Mom. My parents probably remember more practical things but I remember the smell of fresh bread in the home, the deep snowfalls, the ice rink of my very own, the creek, learning to ride a two-wheeler, and so much more from those days in our little home. My Dad had a small motorcycle that I rode on the back of, my hands never got cold but his did. The memories of a child have to do with feeling safe, and loved. I have good memories as a child, sparked easily by a simple scent of bread.
This one is also a special sparker. Baba is my grandma on my Mom’s side. I was blessed with a close relationship to her, and she loved to share her home and time with me. Guido and Baba loved all their grandchildren I am sure, and we all have our own memories of time spent with them. I spent time with them one year after travelling back to Kindersley on the train. It was different from Vancouver, only one theatre, one drive in – Dog’n Suds I think it was called. It was a bit like Mayberry to me, and I remember the peacefulness of their side street, and the crab apples trees on the side of the house. I remember lots more but it is all sparked by something that she kept in her purse invariably sharing one of them with me, or two, and that is lifesaver candy, and almost always five flavors. I think of Baba and smile whenever I see them.
Enjoy your saunters down memory lane as you think of those times growing up, and time spent with someone you love that will never, never ever, be forgotten.
May it ever be so.
So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.