Memories: Unique to all of us

Semi-weekly columnist shares personal observations and insights

To some degree we all have early memories. My oldest brother swears he can remember being in the crib. His description is vivid and detailed and I have no doubt that in his mind his memories are true to him. I don’t mean to say what he believes to be true is simply a figment of his imagination, but rather that we paint our own history. I, on the other hand, have very few memories of my childhood, or my youth, for that matter.

I once had a cousin say to me, “Karen, each family member writes her own history.”

I didn’t understand what she meant by that and so I simply bobbed my head in acknowledgment hoping that she wouldn’t question me and thus expose my ignorance.

Mind you, that was numerous years ago and I had to feel comfortable with asking the person to explain what he or she meant. Being that age and that maturity level, I never did feel comfortable asking someone to explain their position. Back then, for me, it was embarrassing to admit that I didn’t know everything and so to ask another what he or she meant was contrary and served to underline my inadequacies. Of course, when you are 30-something, you have no inadequacies. Right?

Anyway, I was getting to a point, but given that I am pushing 60, that point is sometimes elusive to grasp. Okay, that was a joke, so please laugh.

As I was saying, we all write our own history. That history serves to cushion the psyche and smooth out the barbs of hurt and pain we all go through as we traverse the difficult and sometimes rocky road of life.

My earliest memory was not of peering through bars in cribs, but rather of a stormy and blustery day in Winnipeg. I think I might have been about eight years of age. Life was gentle on me at that point. Yes, I had a not very nice home life, but my life outside of that was typical, if not warm. My siblings and I attended St. George’s school in Winnipeg.

It was a school typical of that time. Teachers were stern and so were the rules. The girls were required to wear a subscribed pleated tunic with a white shirt, saddle shoes and white stockings. For my parents that was Godsend. Other than the cash it took to purchase those required outfits, they were off the hook for the rest of the school year when it came to dressing their children in style.

On that one particular day the skies opened up with all their fury and dumped buckets of heavenly tears upon their subjects.

For this third grade girl, the walk home was a lesson in yin and yang and the beauty of nature as She alternately rained down upon me and then offered me the succulent and sweet moments of life. As I walked towards home my umbrella in hand protecting my hair, I blithely picked the honeysuckle along the way. I vividly remember the loud claps of thunder and the bright flashes of light as She showed me her power and ultimate beauty.

Upon reflection I can still taste the warm sweetness of the honeysuckle in my mouth, but I also taste the sweetness of youth and a time when life was measured in footsteps, not money, and when the things which brought the greatest pleasure cost not a cent.

As I stroll along my aging and honeysuckle’d path I try to remember that life is filled with yin and yang. It thrives on those differences, or dichotomy. Dichotomy, She says, is the tool upon which the goodness and spirit of life is truly measured.


Just Posted

Finals set for senior curling championship

Bill van Yzerloo and Lisa Deputan teams win bronze, Craig and Cowan rinks headed to the finals

Firefighters extinguish early-morning blaze in Rossland

Neighbour alerted family of four, no injuries reported

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read