Thursday, June 25, 2009

“Childhood Memories”
[Written by the Duchess]

Where does one begin sifting through the memories from one’s youth in a town like Pound Ridge? What stands out the most, as one gazes down a long dimly lit corridor, with doors leading off to a multitude of reminiscence? These thoughts could be triggered by the scent of newly cut green grass, maybe a song from one’s youth, and then the door quietly opens. . . . . . .

Being the daughter of a terrific though restless carpenter, I must confess that my family moved around Pound Ridge a lot before I ventured forth on my own at age twenty-one. I have many fond memories of our family home on Old Stone Hill Road, were we lived for eight years. Most of the homes along this winding road had two or more acres with lots of lovely trees.

What comes immediately to my mind was the large, hilly field beyond the backyard of our home. The field was owned and maintained by the Marshall family. The Marshalls, Ernie and Nancy, were good friends of my parents, Bill and Loretta. I played out there with friends throughout the four seasons. During the chill of snowy winters we’d go sledding down those hills, shrieking with joy, and feel the wind tingle our faces. When the pond had been deemed worthy by our parents, we’d go ice skating for hours. Upon arriving home we’d get warm bowls of tasty soup, as well as steaming cups of hot chocolate. One cold, sunny winter day stands out in particular, when the pond was frozen solid. Down onto the ice rode the adults [i.e.: parents] on two snowmobiles with toboggans being dragged behind. This treat was courtesy of the Marshalls. Round and round the pond we’d go, being pulled on those toboggans, occasionally clinging to an adult on a snowmobile, with snow and bits of ice flying all over. That day was so much fun and quite a memorable occasion for me.

During the warmth of the summer months, my friends and I would be out in the field playing with our Barbie’s, Kiddles and Trolls. We would share in a simple picnic lunch packed by our Moms. There were times we’d even try our hand at fishing at the pond, but we gave up quickly, as we were a bit squeamish about using worms as bait. At other times my beloved dog Angel and I would scamper around the field, nothing particular in mind, just a sense of quiet peace. I loved climbing the trees, which bordered the crumbling stonewalls of our property, and creating adventures in my mind. As I climbed higher and higher, my dear Angel would watch from below, waiting for when I’d finally descend and give her cuddles.

During my childhood, we never required parental supervision as we rode our bikes along country roads. Life seemed safer then like something out of the early 20th Century; not like the 21st Century, full of paranoia, fear, excessiveness, and lack of trust and over protectiveness. As I strive every day to be a compassionate and dedicated peace activist, at times I find it difficult in keeping cynicism on the backburner. Then I reflect on my childhood perspective, and the 1960s seemed like a terrific time; full of hope and a world were anything was possible. What was it like for the adults, who lived through this time of the Vietnam War, riots, the Kennedys, Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights, LSD, the Beatles and flower power? From time to time I have wondered and even speculated on that era. Answers always hovering beneath the surface, but what comes to mind are the lyrics to Bucky Covington’s song “A Different World” . . . . . . . . . . . ”Rode bikes with no helmets and still here we are, still here we are, we got daddy’s belt when we misbehaved, had three TV channels you got up to change” . . . . . . . . . . Yes, we are still here, and with a desire for a world were anything is possible.


Post a Comment

<< Home