Hello Memory Lane

Field

It was a walk we often took: a quintessential summer childhood experience, a journey deeper than the few miles we’d cover down the winding pathways and through the woods. Him, frailer every time, stopping every few metres to point something out (catch his breath); me, sprightly, jumping, bounding, all energy, willing him on, to move faster, quicker, wanting to get to the pub half-way, for a lemonade and some crisps. Skylarks calling in the distance, rabbits shooting out in front of us, a splash flash of blue, orange, red as the butterflies whizz in front of us. Rapeseed flowering both sides of us, a riotous sea of yellow (he’d ride the bus between our two villages just to see that sea some days). We’d reach the woods, the little bridge over the bubbling river, and we’d play Pooh sticks; the joy I’d feel, bending for two sticks, helping him join in. It’s humbling to think how much of an effort he must have taken to do these walks, his 80-year old frame covering the few miles slowly but surely, each mile revealing new truths, advice, help, from deep in his wisdom bank. Those few miles, travelled often, each time deeply enjoyed, a beloved Grandad and his Granddaughter, speaking, laughing, silent, deeply silent. Learning from him, mostly by osmosis, by quiet observation of him and his ways, his patient knowing ways. She travels back in time now, remembering fragments of those walks, the memories coming back so strongly she feels the wind on her face, she hears those skylarks calling. Feeling the ache of his absence all over again. If only we could turn back time. I’d give anything to travel back for even one minute of those precious walks, to see him stood there, propped up on his stick, surveying the landscape, his blue eyes registering everything. I wouldn’t speak, I’d just watch and listen. I’d listen a whole lot deeper.

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14 thoughts on “Hello Memory Lane

  1. Zoe Rose says:

    This is lovely, so evocative.

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  2. alexa says:

    I really enjoyed this, Helen – your words weaving wonderful pictures and bringing it (and him and the then-you) alive again. I think you did listen deep; it’s in your cells :).

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  3. Oh Helen – I wipe away tears after reading this as you stated things so beautifully and hit right to the heart of the memories of me my and my Gram. I would give anything to go back for just a little more time too and listen just a little closer. Just love how you’re able to share in words almost tangible feelings and emotions. Just beautiful. xoxo

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  4. Eva says:

    I love your memory Helen! It’s made me remember my car rides with my Nan and Pop and the times when I’d just sit and listen. I would sit and listen to them all day ….. I wish I could hear their voices again.
    I’ll be forever grateful for those trips.

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  5. Barbara says:

    Beautiful words, Helen! I surely read your heart in these wonderful posts!! I, too, look back in time and remember all those years with my grandfather…”Gran Gran” as my children called him! I only wish I had listened more closely; written down the stories and the things that he shared with us…

    Thank you for generating those memories for us as well as sharing your memories!!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Barbara, its one of those things we leant in hindsight, isn’t it…to want to listen more, to document, but then if we’d done that, the interactions wouldn’t have been the same……thanks for your lovely comment 😉

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  6. blondeusk says:

    Loved this, you are such a good writer Helen 🙂

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  7. Lizelle says:

    This gives me a little lump in my throat as I think of my own grandmother. I still remember buying her a stick and realising that were now at that point in history when she needed it….ow fortunate we are, how truly blessed to be afforded the privilege of such wisdom bank allowances!

    Vivid beautiful bit of writing my friend ❤

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