Kindergarten (garden of children) was the garden where I bloomed.
I went down around Colonial Circle and two blocks east, past the school patrol at the corner and there was West Elementary School. The classroom was light and airy with large windows along two sides. A long child-sized table was lined up by the windows and little chairs where we could sit. There were no desks. (Desks were in the 1st grade.)
Miss Nelson led us in art and theatre. (Seems like I was always a star.) My self portrait hung on the wall and I sang “Where is pinkie…..” in a performance for the parents. Miss Nelson took us to the post office, a creamery, a train ride and the Bell Telephone Company. The phone company had an exhibit of the evolution of the telephone, right up to the phone where you could see the person you were talking to.
I didn’t get to go on the train. The day before, I slipped going up the brick stairs to my front door and cut open my lip. The teacher and my mom thought I would bleed on the train. No train ride, no Hollywood career, and I wouldn’t eat butter for fifteen years because we had shaken a pint of cream until it turned. I was sure it would taste sour.
creates spirit of learning
growth of the person
Back to school in my memory with a dVerse prompt on school.
Mother made cookies. Peanut butter cookies. She would roll some dough in her hand, make a ball, and place each ball on the cookie sheet. With a fork she would crisscross each one flat. When out of the oven we ate them warm or dipped in cold milk. Every time I bake peanut butter cookies I do the same. I add more peanut butter but I roll the dough in my hand, press the fork and think of mother who loved baking peanut butter cookies for my sisters and me.
NaPoWriMo prompt to write about a habit I got from my mom. I love making peanut butter cookies (and chocolate chip).
I remember sleeping out under the stars during a Girl Scout campout. It was an open area, few light pollutants and a cloudless night. I learned the North Star (Polaris), the dippers both Big and Little (Ursa Major and Minor), Cassiopeia, and as we lay on our sleeping bags looking up, a cross directly above us. The scout leader shone a flashlight into the direction she wanted us to look and we could follow her light to the next star or constellation.
Decades later I woke on my cot in the middle of the night. I was at the Upper Tanner on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. New moon. Deep sand. It was so hot, I lay naked on my sleeping bag. I couldn’t sleep, watched the Milky Way, and saw Pleiades rising.
under this one sky
a circle magnificent
above or below
dVerse prompt to write a haibun of an experience in the natural world that influenced your life. Going through the Grand Canyon on a rafting trip grounded my life to the power of nature (God).
Fantasia is Portuguese for costumes. When we put on a costume we enter a fantasy world. Before Halloween, I would bring out the sewing machine and make costumes for my children. One year they were unicorns, a shark and a penguin, Spider-Man, a green dragon (that won a best costume prize), a wizard and an alien. The dog wore a tutu.
Now my children are grownups. I find myself wanting to wear a costume, wanting to enter a fantasy. As soon as I finish writing, I will bring out the sewing machine and go make my fantasia.
It was the first death I could remember—-my father’s father, my grandfather. It came as a surprise, an aneurysm, as the family sped on the highway trying to get to the hospital. We were too late. I never saw the body.
How could I make sense of death at such a young age?
When we returned home, I picked the butterflies off of the grill of the car. These were dead, their soft bodies smashed, the wings intact. I took those colorful wings to the garden across the street. I sat under the overgrown asparagus in the corner of Laird’s garden and buried the butterflies one by one.
life is a flicker
mind what is most beautiful
pathway to the rest
dVerse prompt on how nature plays into our lives. This is a haibun about a death and how nature played a role in how I dealt with that death. I was six years old and loved butterflies.
Some birthdays are easy to remember like when the family got together and my favorite aunt bought a cake that set the bar for all cakes proceeding it. A January birthday meant I could wear the dress my gramma made for Christmas. Uncle Clifford snapped a Kodachrome memory.
On birthday number five, all my friends set at the extended dining room table. I remember the balloons. I remember blowing into a red balloon and it expanded out and away and I swear it grew nearly as long as the table.