Turn Back Time

Turn Back Time

Memories… what are those? Is it the remnants of a cheerful past? The places hidden within us and where we turn to when reality is too difficult to handle? The places where we constantly dwell, but they don’t give us strength to face the world, but give us confort and there is always a smile to be had. Would we live better without it? Would we be stronger if our own soul wasn’t attached to happy memories? Well, I don’t know about that.. but what I do know is that memories are one of the few things that no one else can touch, apart from those who have them. It is a private world where each of us take refuge, and after a long day, that is the only world that remains intact, the only world where we remain the same, uncorrupted, as if we could pick up our own essence and place it in a box, a safe place, before we get out of the door and face the ever changing world, and so do we change with it. But when we forget who we were, we can always go back and open that same door from which we got out, open the box and place in our hands that little piece of our essence and know how it feels to be…us…again..

I have thousands of little boxes with my own essence, thousands of memories that are dear to me. Whenever my only companion is loneliness, or if sadness holds me in those bitter arms, I travel to the places locked within myself, and as I lie there, all that I am now is gone, a new breath takes hold of me and I no longer feel the weight of my own body, too heavy because it was filled with everyday problems, a greasy black sludge injected in my my vains, chemicals composed by all the heavy burdens given to me, and to all of us, when we became adults and the more we age the furthest away from those memories we are. As we grow up, of course new memories will be made, happy ones with all those people that we have the luck and pleasure to share our life, our love. But the world is expecting something and we have the responsability to give whatever it may ask from us, we have to protect those we love, we have to constantly fight to survive, and those with whom we share a life are also expecting something from us. No one will protect us anymore, we are on our own, and the new memories we make as adults may be happy ones, but will be constantly haunted by the obligations and duties that we are expected to fulfil. Suffice to say that if we do not relive those happy memories, we can either go mad or be swallowed by the world and all the problems in it will crush us.

Like any other, I have my own cheerful memories placed in a time before I became an adult, and if I could turn back time and relive one single memorie, I would choose the twenty four hours of a common day during my childhood.

My day used to begin as soon as the sun pierced the clouds, and the greyish blue light of dawn was dissolved like mist to give room to the golden rays coming through the curtains. As the sun gently touched my face, the first sounds heard were the voices of birds, but this pleasent melody was shattered by the music on the radio from my parents room. The alarm clock woke us all up in a hurry with the music from the 70’s and the 80’s, and I would always spring out of bed, shaking and dancing towards the bathroom to get ready for school. My mother had always something good to tell me, there wasn’t a single day that she wouldn’t tell me how much she loved me and that I was her prince. My father took me by the hand all the way to the school, always speaking of something that I can’t remember, but the sound of his deep voice gave me strength, confidence and encouragment. A big hug he used to give me before going away.

At school the worst part was spending the time in the classroom, my teacher was very harsh, she screamed a lot and whenever one of us didn’t knew about whatever she could ask or if she found a gramatical error in one of our written compositions, her hand would always fall upon us, more than once. Luckly for me, I always knew how to answer her questions and I’m proud to say that I was one of the very few that felt the weight of her hand in my face just twice in those long four years. More than enough, that red hot heat in my face reminded me that I had to study. Apart from those unfortunate events, I had a lot of fun doing handicrafts, because reading, writing, math, geography, history and so on, was quite boring… but nowadays it doesn’t seem that bad..

Strange as it seems, I had friends, and during playtime we were always making huts with fortifications, each one of us had a job, some were soldiers, others were builders, there were also the gatherers, the crafters and the diplomats. Each hut was competing against other huts, attacks had to be made to pillage and take with us all of those who had been conquered to reinforce our clan. My task was simple, I was always disguised as a diplomat, spending my time with all the clans, among them, giving indications, helping, organizing, but in truth I was a spy, a pretty good one as a matter of fact. No other clan had spies, this was my own idea, finding the password to enter each of the huts, get to know the weaknesses of each and lie to all about the intentions of a clan towards another and concocting a war. Oh… I had so much fun watching them all fighting against one another, but sitting there and not be part of the battle wasn’t for me. I had to join the fight always, and previously, because I had been the diplomat of all the clans, no one really knew in which side I was on, nor did it matter, we were just children fighting against each other.

The best part of the day was the journey back home in the afternoon during Autumn. Passing the houses with towers, up the hill I went with one of my parents, or sometimes alone. The ground was filled with leaves and tiny puddles of water, the grass was green and wet with a fragrance of rain over earth. The trees were tall and large and the fiery dusk sky reflected its colors upon the leaves of the trees. On the top of the hill I could see the church’s bell tower, standing out from the top of the trees and below the ever green gardens. Everytime I set my eyes upon that chuch or heard the perpetual sound of the bell anouncing the time, my mind was eased, not because I was a religious child, I couldn’t care less about such subjects, but the reason was that the church was a sign that my home was near, the place were I was protected against anything, were all the troubles that a young child things he has, would stay outside, away from the cosy homely ambience.

Upon arriving home, my parents were there to welcome me, and there was nothing else to trouble my mind because the world of the grown ups was far off. If there was any unpleasant situation, my parents were there to set things right, they were wise, tall and strong and they ensured the safety of our lair. My task in the house was to play and be happy… oh and of course taking a bath before that. You may think that we children will do anything to avoid bathtime, whatever we might have done to get away from the water, be sure that once in there, the hard thing was getting us out. For me that was a magical moment. The last rays of the sun shined golden through the leaves and came in like spears of light. While taking a bath it was a joyful moment watching the colors of the world changing. At twilight it seemed that the roof of the world was veiled by a purple tunic, and my parents turned off the lights and the bathroom welcomed the celebrations of the sky and it was all reflected upon the walls of white tile.

I spent the last moments of my day sitting on the bed, comfortable and cozy with warm blanket, with a soft pillow between me and the wall, as my parents sat there around me with a big book of three hundred and sixty five stories in it. One story each night for the entire year. The best ones were those during Autumn. The animals in the stories would always take shelter in their burrows to avoid the Autumn rains and the rolling thunders, and I felt like one of those characters because I could see outside the wind blowing against my window, the trees tottering and the leaves dancing, the heavy rain knocking on the glass. I wasn’t outside, I was one the oposite side, in my own burrow, my warm bed with my parents taking care of me, such a cosy and pleasent memorie. This memorie remains undefiled, no one can rip it to shreds, it is unique and unbreakable. This memorie is carved within me, the only way to reach it is by closing my eyes, pretending that I am there again and relive those moments, constantly thinking about them so I may not forget the tiniest detail. I don’t want to imagine if by sickness or age I may forget all about this, because if it happens, I lose who I am, I lose those magic moments forever and I cease to exist as a being with a background story that made me what I am today. Without those memories I am hollow, a rotten husk.

It might be selfish to think that these are the only good memories and that the people that are at our side during the rest of our lives won’t give us other equally good memories. Of course that isn’t true, but the childhood memories are our own, not shared with anyone else, only we know how it felt, and those are the memories where inocence, naivity and the sense that the world is a safe place, still lie. I truly hope that when I have my own children, I can give them a life as great as my parents gave me. It will be through my children that I will relive these wonderful times by giving them the same or better childhood memories.

Arith Härger

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5 responses to “Turn Back Time

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