Time Travels

I stood inside the storm door and looked out at the tree line across the street from my house on the hill. I was four years old, an only child surrounded by adults. The carpet was shag, pea-green. The radio blared in the kitchen.

This is my first memory.

I stepped outside onto the porch stoop. The first step down dipped dangerously low and I had to hold on to the wrought-iron railing.

I wish I was nine, I thought.

As a little girl who always dreamed of growing up, I had no idea the path my life would take. I couldn’t have known then that I wouldn’t be an only child much longer, that we’d have to sell our house on the hill because we would soon become a family of five. I couldn’t have known that I’d choose to raise my own family in the shadow of that hill I stood upon at four.

Memories stack high like thick slips of paper in my mind. On the bottom is the four year old looking out, wanting to move forward in time.

In the middle of the stack there is a teenage girl, knob-kneed and frail, scared. She’s curled under covers in her childhood bed, trying to will time to reverse. She doesn’t want to grow up.

Toward the top there’s the woman with a baby at her breast. She’s studying the way the hair swirls on his head. She imagines him as a little boy, a young man, a father carrying a child of his own. It is a dream within a dream for a sleepless night. She wants to live with him at time’s center, where it does not move, where the only thing that matters is the rise and fall of his chest.

Time travels. Memories shuffle. The girl who wished she was nine is standing at the front door again, time washing over her like water. It forms a pool at her bare feet, then eddies past her on its way.

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  1. Tracie says:

    This is so beautiful. You painted a picture with your words – shuffling a stack of memories – I love it.
    Tracie recently posted..If You Teach A Kid How To WriteMy Profile

  2. Maggie may says:

    That’s a beautifully written post, and I can completely relate.
    Maggie may recently posted..The Working Poor: Our Numbers Increasing: 99%My Profile

  3. Leslie says:

    So beautifully written. I’ve often wished to stop time or to go backwards, but it just keeps accelerating it seems.

  4. I love the way you present a stark truth, one that could be very painful, and instead make it beautiful. And if “only child” went to “family of five”, I’m guessing that “twins” were involved!!
    Jessie Powell recently posted..Divorce: A Love StoryMy Profile

  5. Sigh. I love your writing. And your insight.
    Robin @ Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Review of Purple Leaves, Red CherriesMy Profile

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