Happy March! Am working on some big goals this month in the home improvement category. Time to move Oliver into the nursery, our builder friend is supposed to start work in the basement, and the “office” (mostly a storage room with an air mattress from the last time somebody slept over) is on schedule to be transformed into a playroom.
In prep for the playroom, I’ve spent a couple of afternoons lately sorting through boxes of craft and scrapbooking supplies in the office, and I came across a photo album my mom gave me a few years ago. The pages are warped and smeared from water damage (a basement flooding), but many of the photos are still partially there.
I kept the album because that’s what I do with stuff, but also because I plan to re-scrap it someday. There’s something weirdly interesting about a lot of the photos.
And you know how I feel about symbolism and significance.
Damage is interesting like that, especially in connection with childhood. I suppose there are some people who have wildly sunlit years as kids, but most people have their darker stuff too. Carl has almost no memories of his early years due to the stress of his parents’ divorce. I have memories I wish I didn’t.
In most of our adult lives, it makes sense to shorthand our early years (good childhood, bad childhood, lonely, bored, bullied at school). We don’t usually have time for reflection without the expectation of some kind of reward, a key to improve our behavior, fix our eating/sleeping habits.
I have time.
If I have a chunk of time daily to watch the birds at our bird feeder, scan the woodline for deer lurking in the trees while I wash dishes, watch eyes droop into sleep two, three times every day—I have time to remember what it was like to hunt for turtles in the swamp with my brothers. I have time for the smell of mud.
Maybe it’s just March, and I’m tired of negative degrees.
But maybe it’s time to start writing nonfiction too. Maybe something good could come out of my stir crazy winter-time weariness.