The childhood that remains

Walking down a quiet lane amid fields and the spring-blossoming trees, I am transported back to the cruelties of childhood. How my brother and I would make fun of our grandmother and her beloved Boston Bull Terrier whom we named “Snort.” In particular, I would impatiently dismiss her offerings of music to listen to or to sing. Church music was so boring when there was opera to entrance and beckon.

Here as I walk through the sunlit shadows, I recollect those opportunities to embrace her and her advice. I want to close my eyes and be transported back through time, through a wrinkle in time, and end up in my Grandmother’s kitchen as we play Canasta, drink tea and eat cookies. The sun would filter in just as now at this moment and the trees would rustle in the breeze. I would look at her and say, “Grandhazel, you are right. Handel is beautiful and how I wish that I could master those notes. But I cannot.” She would understand the deep longing and the tragedy of wanting something so desperately that is beyond one’s reach. And we would smile at one another across the decades as I faded back into the present moment. But she would know that the older me loved her and saw the truth of her life and her own longings as mirrored in my own.

Hazel B. Turgeon in the 1960s from an old photograph