Reminiscing

Daily Prompt: Always Something There to Remind Me

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?”

Friday night it was late I was walking you home we got down to the gate and I was dreaming of the night …

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!”

~*~

Reminiscing …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

In Hindsight …

Weekly Writing Challenge: Hindsight is 20/20

To me the word “hindsight” smacks of regret, and worry, and wasted energy, but for this exercise I’ll lay aside my misgivings and share a brief examination of some things I wish I’d done, in hindsight, in 2014.

This year has been a time of tremendous growth and recovery on so many levels. In particular, after three years of adrenal fatigue malaise I’m finally feeling more robust and vital.

Perhaps I have a trip to Italy in early June to thank for that.

(Hindsight: how much sooner would my energy have improved had I gone to Italy for two weeks in June each of the previous three years? Hmmmm … )

For two glorious weeks we indulged in la dolce vita. We delighted in the exquisite flavours of non-GMO foods; basked under the unrelenting Tuscan sun; devoured daily doses of delectable gelato and, of course, took in all the marvellous sights and sounds that define this ancient nation.

We landed in beautiful Florence for a few days; spent a tranquil week at a magnificent villa in Tuscany, and revelled in the unique experience that is Venice. It was the vacation of a life time and, I believe, an important milestone on my healing path.

(Hindsight: more gelato would have been good … )

The Villa
Villa in Tuscany

Then, in late June, I began a six-month course in Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning. By the end of it I was certified as a practitioner in this profound healing modality. A happy side effect was my own healing in ways I had not previously imagined.

This is another reason, I believe, the adrenal fatigue has become less chronic.

Free Spirit

(Hindsight: if only I’d known about it sooner, I probably would have signed myself up ages ago … (sigh) … )

But this is my point about hindsight … to me life unfolds as it should. The best we can hope is to be, and make the most of, every moment.

I do my best not to hold grudges; not to make comebacks. Most people can’t help who they are ~ not that this gives them an excuse to be belligerent or rude or ignorant or insensitive ~ but to engage in their negative energy is, for me at least, a waste of my own valuable resources. As well, if I were to beat myself up for every little thing I wish I’d done but hadn’t had the presence of mind to do, there wouldn’t be much of me left. Quite frankly, I’ve spent far too much of my life doing that anyway.

If the adrenal fatigue has taught me anything it’s to release the need to stress unnecessarily and to save my energy for the things that make me feel good about myself and my contribution to the world.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that my life really started to change for the positive at the beginning of the year when I moved my horse, Shakespeare (Bear), to a new barn and began to work with a new coach. Notwithstanding the fact that I wear the badge of a woman-of-a-certain-age I feel like I’ve been given a second chance to learn and grow in my equestrian sport of choice ~ dressage.

There’s a long road ahead, but at least now I know that Bear and I are on a good one.

Bear
Shakespeare

And so now, I thrive!

(Hindsight: it would have been a good idea to move my horse earlier, but I’ve already beaten myself up enough about that one. Where we are now is where we’re meant to be and the timing of December 31, 2013 was right. Prior to that I was too debilitated with adrenal fatigue symptoms to make such a decision or move. So, it’s all good … )

Now, foresight … it’s going to be a great 2015!

Season’s Greetings and Merry Christmas …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

 

Cypress Sunset

Cypress

There, upon a Tuscan Hill,

Survey the cypress, tall and still

Saluting to the burning sky

As setting sun to all says “Arrivederci!”

~*~

Something a little quirky courtesy of my recent trip to Italia.

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

Summer’s First Kiss

SpentSummer’s first kiss

A fantasy

A fumble

A moment made humble.

Not stolen;

Theft.

~*~

“Do you remember your first kiss?” Summer asked of her mother.

“Oh, darling, that was such a long time ago.” She thought for a moment. “It certainly wasn’t with your dad.”

“That would be a no, then?” Summer was despondent.

“Yes, that would be a no. … What about you?” Her mother asked, mildly curious. “Do you remember yours?’

Summer thought for a moment. Dare she tell her mother the truth of that first moment her lips touched those of another? She’d never mentioned it before. Too much shame attached to it. Not a kiss by choice; a kiss by chance. Someone else’s chance. No romance. A moment of groping in a dark theatre by a boy who’d asked her out under false pretences; her boundaries crossed when she had no border guard. All she’d wanted to do was watch The Pink Panther. 

“No, mother, I don’t remember my first kiss.”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_n

Sadly, not all first kisses are what we might wish.

Written in response to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday challenge.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Free Write Friday: Fall Word Bank … The Season of Senses

It’s Free Write Friday and this week Kellie Elmore has issued a word bank challenge.

Deposited in the bank this week are:

foliage – amber – wicker – aroma – sweater – cocoa

And here’s my free write ramble, lightly edited …

The Season of Senses

Mirabel stepped off the front porch step to the pebbled path way and stopped. She took a deep breath and held it for a moment, and then released. The air was bright with the sharp scent of rain-drenched foliage. It was a heady fragrance, filling her with a sense of gratitude for another summer past and the fullness of life represented by autumn.

Summer’s last gasp, she liked to call it, shooting flames of colour through the woods. “Remember me! Remember me!” the dying season seemed to say. A canopy of amber, crimson, rust foretelling the arrival of a season of frigid dormancy.

Amber Canopy

Winter wasn’t Mirabel’s thing. She preferred long rides on her horse through the withering woods, with the crunch of freshly, fallen leaves beneath Cally’s hooves; the sparkle of sunlight scoring through baring branches; and the soft, warm fragrance of the dying summer flooding her senses.

Autumn was the season of senses.

She stretched her arms out to the side like a flying bird and tilted her head up to the sky, closing her eyes as if to take in the changing season even more deeply. To feel its dampness on her skin; hear the call of migrating geese in her ears; smell the sweet decay of summer’s rotting blooms. She could almost taste it so heightened were the flavours of fall by remnants of rain.

Rain.

A drop here. A drop there. On her forehead; her eye lids; her cheeks; the back of her outstretched hands. She opened her eyes. It was true. The spit-fall of rain drops had started again.

She turned and climbed the stairs to the covered porch and settled into her wicker rocking chair. Pulling her favourite Arran sweater tighter about her to ward off the damp chill, she observed the rainy scene for some time before realizing that what she really wanted, right now, was for someone to bring her a lovely hot mug of cocoa.

“Ben, honey …!”

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

free-write-friday-kellie-elmore

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013