Monday Memories

Since my friend, Mary, over at Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease, started Monday Memory (which takes place the last Monday of the month), I thought it was the perfect day to reminisce (of course, it’s not the last Monday of the month but, hey, you should know me by now)

Nearly all my best, childhood memories include my family. Sun soaked, water logged days spent swimming in Non and Pop’s pool with my brother, mom, and dad, inhaling the Intercoastal with its pungent, sulphur smell that smacked my sinuses, stalking the brown water, dockside, hoping to see a silver eel streak by.

Memories that also involve the Atlantic Ocean which was just a short walk across A1A from their condo, the mysterious body of water that housed millions of varieties of life.  Whose beaches I lay upon under moonlight, motionless, transfixed, watching as the dark, shadowy sea turtles came ashore to dig nests and lay their eggs. The buoyant salty waves that lapped at my soul. Tides which pulled life’s negativity, ugliness, harshness out to sea till they became little specks on the horizon.  

Just some of the magical powers of memory–like a small town revival with its hallelujahs and deception entangled under one tent.   Fortunately for me (and something most kids take for granted), I only experienced the Messiahs during childhood–the joys and carefree days which blurred into years that formed me like wet sand in the hands of a master sculptor. 

My being, my core, my inner child is grainy, sun streaked, and dampened by salt spray. My remembrances which I keep dusted and lovingly displayed in my heart are happy and messy. They leave sandy footprints behind as they traipse through the years to find me where I am now. They slip into my dreams and cover me in beach sunflowers. They resurrect my beloved Nonnie and Pop-Pop whose wrinkled hands stroke my sun bleached hair, whose dark, Italian eyes speak love, whose lips utter “mange” and “I love you.”

My memories are my buried treasure, coin upon golden coin, hidden from the surface, yet, shallow enough to dive for whenever life becomes overwhelming or hateful or unforgiving. They are my secret to survival. They are. . .and I am.

 

 

 

Gray Mist

This morning was a foggy one.  Not too common for South Florida.  I still get caught up in the emotions of the mist just as I did when I was a child.  I used to be enthralled with the ghostly weather and would scurry to a quiet place to create, pencil in hand, scratching a mysterious story into existence.  As an adult, I still feel a connection with that young girl.  Only now, in addition to the dash to my quiet place, I acknowledge the uncanny sensation of ties to those who passed.  Who are now caught in a misty limbo of sorts, misconceived as haunters, who are the ones haunted.  I can relate to their restlessness, their shadows.  Memories, donned in disguise, creep in and stir up latent emotions that persist under the conscious radar.  I am left, like a viewer seated on a cold, padded folding chair, in a darkened room.  An old projector flashes images in black and white on the bare wall in front of me:  wet children in soggy socks smiling, laughing their way down a slip and slide,  mockingbirds shrilly calling, waiting, fluttering to land in my cupped palms, greedily gobbling crimson cranberries, a butterfly garden bathed in moonlight, the intoxicating, overwhelming perfume of  night- blooming jasmine, being cradled, feeling safe, protected for the first time in more than a decade, by someone who was my home, although I had been displaced,  whose frame wasn’t four walls and a roof, rather a soul enveloping embrace. The fog has lifted, somewhat, but the pregnant, gray clouds overtly hint at imminent, cleansing precipitation. . .

Dry Ice

bleak winter days take it out of the
freezer lay it on the counter to
thaw icicled moment frostbitten
tucked away years ago behind Green
Giant sweet peas and vacuum
sealed chicken breasts a memory frozen
solid melting pooling tiny rivulets
dripping onto tiled floor a remembrance
room temperature growing hotter
reach out touch feel its warmth the
grainy velvet beneath entwined feet
late afternoon fading sunlight
splintering rough blistered boards
salty air cooling orange creamsicle
sun slipping down on her black-blue
bed sea’s musings reaching for
her shore gentle music soothing two
needy engulfed in a white mineral laced
embrace repelling shadows flitting
flirting near lovers spotted out in opaque
depths far from turquoise shallows
discreet distance nestles between
hands no longer touching not groping
scorched pull back grab aluminum
foil oven mitts wrap it toss
it back into the frigid depths

© Pamela Rossow