Friday, September 5, 2014

Stepping Stones

Beauty happens when one simply decides to look up.  Try it.
This is not my tree.

But first a little more about BOY.  One of my favorite lines from chapter title Papa and Mama "...and then he would announce to her that 'the glorious walks' must begin." about how during the third trimester of Dahl's mother's pregnancies Papa and Mama would go on daily walks, "so that she could absorb the splendour of the surroundings." makes my heart soar.  I love the thought of this. How wonderful would life be for all humanity if leading up to childbirth every mother would be entreated to walks out among the most beautiful surroundings accessible. 

One line from the chapter called, Kindergarten, peaked my curiosity as well. Dahl states, "It is astonishing how little one remembers about one's life before the age of seven or eight."  Roald Dahl wrote that he recalled very little, but the one memory he shares in the book is sweet, and an indication that that little boy had an adventurous nature and appreciation for good fun.  

 The Papa and Mama chapter made me wonder what might have filled my momma with splendor during the time she was carrying me.  I once learned that while pregnant with me she often went hungry.  Dahl's Kindergarten chapter had me wondering how I can seemingly still have vivid memories from before elementary school.  I think my stepping stones are the reason for this.  As adults we are fortunate if those personal life stories can be easily recalled.

Life is often referred to as a journey.  Indicators of my journey are represented by stepping stones... one for every time during my childhood that there was a move from one house to the next.  Naturally, the first two stepping stones provide no memories whatsoever.  Step stone three on the other hand, well... memories from this house are warm and sunny, mostly.  There is also that sunny-side up egg incident from during that time, and the very unpleasant recollection of the time the old-timey washing machine with the wringers that stood on the porch. It ate my hand then sucked in and squished my arm up past the elbow which required emergency medical care. I still have the scar.  There are so many more memories. I had to be about three years old when we left that house.

The stepping stone that came right after, number four, is where I started preschool.  I have a handful of memories from that time... all good. There's a post on this blog where I shared, "I remember some things so vividly; the powerful love I had for my teacher, Miss Rosalie, reciting “Mary had a little lamb,” singing “Frere Jacques.” At the time I thought I was bilingual after learning that song. (I now spoke English and French – regardless of the fact that I spoke Spanish), learning about good nutrition and hygiene, but mostly, the way the room smelled. I think it was a church building, but when I went in, it was my classroom. It smelled like pinewood, Crayola crayons and oatmeal."  I began Headstart at 3 1/2; we moved sometime during kindergarten.

My kindergarten teacher's name was Mrs. Reading,  and I was now on step stone five.  There was one time I accompanied my older sister - by 4 1/2 years - to a nearby hair salon.  She had been given $5.00 to have someone cut her hair.  I don't remember being inside the salon, I just recall the hilarious episode of my sister hating the hairstyle and running out of the shop without paying. I was stunned and in awe.  Sometime while living at that house I was presented with a brand new tricycle from an unknown relative... unknown to me anyway.   And that was the house we lived in when my family went to Disneyland for the first time.  I also recall that I became an avid music fan during that time and that I loved to dance.  I was about 7 years old when we moved.

Stones six and seven brought on an entirely different view of life. I decided on stone six that one day I would leave that place forever.  Stone seven was where growing up was becoming a challenge I may not have been quite up to.

Here is where I'll sign off for the night, grateful to have this book full of wonderful memories about a boy from across the Atlantic Ocean and from a time I think I would have fit into perfectly.  I also appreciate how so many of my own stories leap forward in my mind as I continue reading Roald Dahl's BOY.

Until tomorrow, Lil

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