Thursday, January 17, 2013

passing on childhood memories

I spent my early childhood living only a couple of minutes from wonderful beaches and rocky coastlines. I have great memories of climbing over the rocks searching for periwinkles, poking my fingers at wonderful sea creatures, eating divine seafood and of exploring the beaches for shells and anything else I could find. On our recent holiday I took our family to see the beaches I grew up exploring. The smell, the view, the sound of the waves and the general atmosphere flooded my mind with sweet memories. 

One such memory I shared with the children was the day a large white whale was washed up on the beach. I have no memory if it was alive when it arrived there as the first time I saw it, it was dead. I clearly remember the colour, a completely white whale! I also remember being shocked at how large it was and with my child's mind wondering how it could possibly have ended up on the beach. I felt a great sadness at the sight of it and later on whenever we drove past it, I remember the horrible smell, seeing it deteriorate and wishing that it was back in the ocean. 
It was lovely to see that not much had changed over the years. The water still looked gorgeous, the same rock formations still existed and the scattered towns along the coastline were all still there, only with a few flasher houses than I remember :)
We took the children to see the first little farm house that I lived in. Still there. Still looks the same. Still blessing a family. Then I showed them the small school I attended for my first years of school. I told them stories of how I always got in trouble when I had to read to the teacher because I could never stand still and how in the first grade my teacher taught us how to make marmalade. I remember being so upset after all that effort we put in to make it, only to find out that marmalade tasted terrible! 

I showed them the country hall I went to kindergarten in. None of this flash classroom stuff with loads of toys and resources. Simple teachings and simple fun. It was amazing to visit these places and to see how far I have come in my life. To see my wonderful country beginnings and to rejoice in the great opportunities that I have had over my life time to allow me to be where I am today.

One place I was really looking forward to visiting was the home I remember living in with both my parents. We were only in this home together for a couple of years as a family before they divorced and both remarried. I know during this time I had a great childhood. We had a simple home with farm animals and paddocks that went on for miles.


I was surprised to discover upon arrival that the house had been knocked down and replaced by a pine tree forest. That dark line of pine trees on the left of the picture above is where our house and land used to be. As you can see I grew up surrounded by wide open spaces, big clouds and dirt roads. Bliss!
Even though I was saddened by not being able to see the sight of the house, the picture on the left is what the driveway now looks like, I was thrilled to find that a tree I had won at school and planted by the front gate was still living and growing there. I planted this tree as a young school girl in her first year of school and I could still even see the bricks placed around the base of it to protect it and help it grow.

Now my tree has grown into a wonderful healthy tree. Full of life, reaching towards the sky. As I stood under the shade of my tree I reflected on how much time had passed since I had seen it, the wonder and amazement that it was still there growing and living and how much the both of us had changed. I pondered how much growing I still had to do in my life and that I needed to take inspiration from my tree to continue to reach new heights. I know for the kids they must have been thinking....why is Mum so excited about this plain old tree?...but for me...it was a wonderful gift to be able to see it and to reflect on my life. Passing on childhood memories may have had some boring moments for my children at times but for me, I was in absolute heaven revisiting my childhood years. I hope later on they appreciate what I was trying to share with them.