A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.
“It’s impossible to pick just one song, Manda. My life is a play list.” Aunt Sally dove into her memories to think of a song that transported her to time and place and came up empty. “It’s like asking me which is my favourite cheese. There are too many.”
Twelve-year-old Manda jumped from her chair at the kitchen table to turn on the old transistor radio accommodating her aunt’s window sill.
“First song that comes up I want you to share a memory … please … I love your stories.” Manda returned to her seat as the commercials wound down and the DJ introduced the next song on the 70s radio station.
As the first cheerful chords of an old familiar tune played Sally caught her breath.
“What? … What do you remember?”
The Little River Band. 1978. Sally’s thoughts returned to her 14th summer, spent at her grandmother’s in a small town in northern Alberta.
“Oh, Manda … this is one of my favourite songs from when I was just a couple of years older than you are now.” Sally took a breath. Her body started swaying to the beat and she began to hum along. She stretched out her hands to her niece and invited her to dance in the middle of the kitchen with her. The mid day sun flared shafts of memory through the window as the two girls sashayed around the floor.
The song was too soon over and Sally flopped into her chair and sipped at her lemonade. It was another hot, sticky day. The exertion almost too much, even with air conditioning.
“That’s a nice song, auntie,” Manda hummed what she could remember. “I can see why you like it. What memory did it drum up?”
Sally took a deep breath and wondered whether to make something up or be truthful. It wasn’t much of a debate.
“Oh, you know, that wasn’t a very happy summer for me. Too many hormones. Too little parental attention of the kind I needed. Terrified of life and trusting no one. I was really raising myself, at the time, and doing a poor job of it.” She sighed. “Gran was there, but I never felt I could trust her. Wasn’t her fault, I suppose. Oh, it’s complicated. … Anyway, this song,” Sally closed her eyes and hummed the opening before continuing, “this song always made me happy. It still makes me happy. I love the rhythm. There’s a promise in the song about never leaving someone alone, and I suppose, at some level, that’s what I wanted. To know I would never be alone …”
Sally’s voice trailed off as she saw herself lying on her bed at Gran’s scribbling in her journal, the radio her consoling companion at a time when nothing, or no one, else could be.
Manda waited, a gentle tear pooled in the corner of her eye. She walked around the table and gave her aunt a big hug. “You never need to worry, Aunt Sally. As long as I am here you will never be alone.” Manda squeezed hard and planted a kiss on her aunt’s cheek.
“Well, Manda, you are a dear,” Sally responded. “I am not alone anymore and haven’t been for a long time. I enjoy my own company now and you know it’s amazing …”
“What is?” interrupted Manda, curious.
“It’s amazing how the people you really need in your life gravitate to you the more you enjoy your own company. Perhaps you are too young to understand this now, but one day you will.”
“So you don’t need me?” Manda gasped, frightened by the prospect.
“Of course, I need you, Manda my dear,” Aunt Sally reassured, “but from a place of love, not from a place of neediness. There’s a difference. Do you understand?”
“I think so …”
Sally released her niece and gave her a big smile. “One thing you need never question is my love for you and that great big heart of yours. How could I ever feel alone when you fill my heart with such joy?”
Manda smiled back and wiped the pool from the corner of her eye.
“C’mon, sweetie, let’s get ice cream. Chocolate or vanilla.”
“Oh … chocolate. Definitely!”
Thanks for visiting,
©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015