Tag Archives: childhood

Roz, Fred and Randi

Roz, Fred and Randi was published in the Willamette Writer, a monthly newsletter in July 2015.

She was my best friend. I knew she had other best friends besides me, but that was okay because I had my sister. She was my best friend and her mom, Roz, was my mom’s best friend. My mom would drive up the long graveled driveway and we’d enter the house, ranch style I think, not too tall and spread out lengthwise. I’d enter the front door, there was big living room to the right hand side that we never played in. There was a huge painting of game birds with big breasts that hung over the fireplace. I didn’t know until later that it was an Audubon engraving, I just thought it weird to see breasts on a bird. I’m glad that we didn’t play in that room. Instead I would head to the left into the smaller living room that had a couch and stuffed leather chairs. This room held a coffee table with a piece of glass on it. Under the glass were rows and rows of arrowheads that Fred had collected. They were grey and pointed and chipped up. Sometimes he’d let us touch them.

Behind this room was a kitchen and to the left was a long, long hallway that had a guest bathroom on the right and a guest bedroom across from it. I know this because sometimes I got to be the guest and sleep in this room.

Then down the hall on the right was another bathroom. This was for Fred and Roz and Randi to share. I loved this bathroom because it had two drawers in it. The first one that I pulled out was filled with little glass bottles of pink, orange, and red nail polish. Sometimes Roz would paint our nails. But today we went to the second drawer that held lots and lots of lipstick tubes. I really liked to play in this drawer in front of the mirror. There were even eyelash curlers, mascara, and black and brown pencils. My mom didn’t have any of these kinds of drawers at all. We stood in front of the mirror and put on red lipstick, curled our eyelashes, used the mascara, gooey blue eye stuff, and to top it off red rouge after the pink powder on our cheeks.

typewriterAcross from the bathroom was Randi’s room. She had a big bed that she didn’t have to share with anyone and lots of toys scattered around the walls; dolls, doll houses, clothes, books, and big light filled windows. But today she had a new toy for us to play with—a typewriter. One that had plastic round keys with an alphabet letter on each, attached to a metal bar. Somehow she knew how to roll the rubber round bar to make a piece of paper go in and then we started typing. We took turns. Hit. Plunk. Type. Push down. Splat of ink on the paper. Fast slow. My turn. Her turn. Back and forth, pound, pound, until we got lots and lots of lines of black ink on white paper. She yanked the paper out of the typewriter and we raced out to Roz, our bright red lips glowing waving our prized piece of paper. Kindly Roz of the curly gray hair, took our paper, held it in her hand, and miraculously started reading to us from that piece of paper. She said there were two little girls, each of brown straight hair, one wearing a red sweater and one wearing a blue sweater. (I was wearing a blue sweater, and Randi’s was red that day) and that the little girls looked so pretty with their blue and green eyes and smiling red lips. Wow! I was floating. We had just written a story. I don’t know how because I hadn’t learned the alphabet yet, but we skipped back to Randi’s room to compose our next piece. And as I glided through the hallway I repeated Roz’s words in my head. I am a writer. My first memory of writing, my first memory with my best friend. I tucked that memory away, the way one does, with happy moments. And then those moments resurface later, at various unbidden times, to be reviewed from an older, more mature perspective. This memory, tucked away, surfaced sometime when I was in my forties, and that’s when I realized the magic of that moment. Kindly Roz had made up that story for us— but I was still a writer.

Swinging in the Rain

MTN.Girl on SwingSwinging in the rain, swinging into a white rainbow. What would it feel like to swing through a white waterfall mist or a mist made by a white rainbow? The water particles just touch your face in a fine cloud as you swing back and forth, and it is warm from the sun, and the light is refracted into all the colors: white. Laughing into the sun shine, happy to be alive, connected to self and Nature. Sometimes we forget about the child parts of our self. It is so refreshing and reinvigorating to be reminded of those feelings of joy or happiness that came to us when we were young. I remember swinging on the swings when I was little, it was so much fun and so freeing. It felt limitless, it almost weightless at the height of the swing.

Recently I was at the beach enjoying the sand, sea, wind and rain with some friends and during my meditations two younger parts of myself come back to me. A spontaneous soul retrieval. Soul retrieval is the shamanic description of what happens when you reintegrate parts of self that might have become disconnected, trapped or lost through trauma or distress. I had a younger child, age three, crawl into my lap and a naked young teenage girl come sit with me. I took their hands in mine. We walk together now, sit on my lap as I read a story. I am grateful for the experiences, to be alive, to be present. I open my arms wide to greet the day and give thanks. Is dancing in the rain on the street under the lamppost, happy to be alive, like swinging in the rain?

Do you have a younger self that may need to return to you? To be reintegrated, loved, and appreciated? Traditional societies would take care of lost soul parts almost immediately after a shocking event. Today we just say, buck up, get over it, you’ll be okay. To reclaim lost parts of self pay attention to what those younger parts might have missed and may need now. Take a moment to honor any younger part of you who would like to be loved and cared for and noticed and reintegrated again.

Blessings. Sat nam.

MTN.Girl on Swing