Friday, 17 April 2009


Tis a strange thing, like glass, sometimes blurry, sometimes clear and other times completely dark. My childhood is pretty blurry, where I can see it at all.

I remember a heavy fall of snow followed by winds. A nearby lane had fields with no hedges bordering it and the snow had swept across forming huge drifts. I remember walking with my parents, jumping in the drifts, being hauled out by my Dad. I have never seen snow like it since.

I remember hot summers days dawning in clear cool blue mornings. Going into the garden with bare feet and feeling the mud and the dew between my toes. Later cool air could be found under the apple trees, lying in the long luscious grass. The houses stone floor small windows meant it was always cool downstairs. Upstairs it would be hotter.

Dusk would see me lying on my back in the grass watching the bats fly overhead, swooping and turning. I would leave my small window under the eaves open all night, to let the cool air in. I would awaken to bird song and reflected green light on my ceiling.

One night sticks out in my mind. It was hot and my sister and I wore thin cotton nighties. We knew my parents had gone out and as they left my sister came to my room as my window ad a better view. We peered out under the eaves at a sky turned red and unkind.

Some of our near neighbours owned a couple of fields and a barn. That night the barn burnt to the ground. The thatch cottage nearest the barn was at risk but the flaming soot didn't settle there.

Why did this fire touch me so? The farmer and his wife had two dogs. The dogs slept in the barn. The farmer went in to get the dogs but one turned back, seeking the comfort of it's bed perhaps. The farmer had to be restrained from going back in. The other dog tried to go back in, to it's mate but they held it back.

My child's brain struggled with all the emotions of this. Why did the dog go back in? How did the farmer feel when he failed to rescue them both and was stopped from going back in? How the dog left alone feel?

It was my very first encounter with death. The sky was beautiful that night.

Go to Carla's blog, Leafdays, to see more memories!


  1. Oh Rose you made me cry. It is so difficult to deal with death, especially as a child. I lost my grandfather when I was eight and I just couldn't accept the injustice of it all.
    Thank you so much for sharing these memories with me. I love your beautiful writing.

  2. Me too Carla. It is only when i write things that I really understand them and it brings them back so strongly in my mind... Thank you.

  3. I have the same elusive sense of memory of my childhood - but, like you, I remember the sensations of weather, of trees and woods, of running wild in the outdoors with only a 'be home before the street lights come on' curfew....I wish so much to have this for my own kids, I just don't know that its possible anymore.

  4. Thank you for allowing us into your memories, with such beautiful descriptive writing.

  5. Thank you. I think it is healthy to take out old memories and dust them off occasionally...