I’ve been a while getting back into writing. Mom is doing much better now after having a pacemaker installed. Life is returning to “normal” and I’m feeling better about writing. So here goes. This is in response to Indigo Spider’s SUNDAY PHOTO PROMPT
You Can Never Go Home Again
I guess you can. You know, go home. But don’t expect things to remain the same as when you left. Never again will the old haunts of your childhood look as crisp and sparkling in life as they do with-in the halls of your memories.
It’s a hard lesson to learn. I’m sure every human being has to learn this inflexible lesson about time and memories. What a shocker! I returned to a childhood memory yesterday. A place I spent many lonely hours: a place where four-square, hop-scotch, and tag were part of the daily activities. My grade school. I learned to spell, to read, and to write here. My teachers tried to instill a love of mathematics in me here, (a lesson of futility, poor Mr. Kerr!)
I only spent a few years here before my father moved us once again. I grew up a military brat. My family followed Dad from state to state, duty station to duty station, country to country. This particular duty station and memory was in England. I was six years old, finishing my kindergarten years at a school on an air base. My foremost memory of this school was misery: I was such a shy girl, a new kid in a school full of new kids. I should have known better, but my last experience at a new school wasn’t a Department of Defense school, it was a civilian school: A place where the resident children all knew each other. They understood the community and the rules of the neighborhood. I didn’t. I knew the rules of a military community which is something much different from civilian life. I was cootie-ized and excluded from the groups. I was never chosen first for the teams in dodge ball. I was always chosen first as the target in dodge-ball. I always sat on the sidelines, but I don’t think I made myself very easy for people to like either. I was a strange and aloof child. I remember leaving the house to catch the school bus when Mom called me back to change my socks. I was wearing 2 different types and colors of socks. One sock reached for the knee and was argyle in nature, while the other was a white, frilly ankle sock. I refused to change those socially offensive articles of clothing and continued my way to school. This action only heaped upon me ridicule from the other kids and verified (in my mind) my unworthiness and how lonely my life was. I was a child who felt the need to suffer.
Now I stand here, looking at the school and the yard that held so much torment for me. Gone and boarded are the gaping windows that allowed me to daydream and leave the classrooms as the teachers droned on: me, on my beautiful white stead racing down the valley past all the stinking, smelling decay of evil children and unfair teachers. The yard is choked with weeds; the pavement is a broken mass of up heaved concrete, stones and shards of metal. It reminds me of my life as a student here. It’s sad, almost forgotten except for the stray cats who’ve made the place their sanctuary. It’s a memory of time and anguish. I think I’m glad this building is crumbling and disrespected. I feel a mixture of joy and sadness as I stare at the decrepit building. I’ve survived this place. I have survived time and the ravages of childhood nemeses. I’m a survivor and I’m happy to have outlived this place of tears. I’m satisfied. Yes, I came home and found some things are better. Sometimes you CAN come home.