“Back on its golden hinges the gate of memory swings and my heart goes into the garden and walks with the olden things.”
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox
We could never have known, my husband and I, as we sat side by side in Mr.Marshs’ science class, that 18 years later we would be back here with our own son. I hardly knew him then, hadn’t particularly paid any attention to him, and had my eye on someone else anyway.
I hold Deflectors hand as we enter the school ground, and there it is, that smell. Gum and tanbark and innocence. The Gums we planted as saplings are towering trees now, the brandnew buildings are tired. It looks a little different, more angles and fencing and boundaries. It is somehow, softer, in my memory.
I can see the ghosts of childhood everywhere, my friends from a lifetime ago. I almost feel as if I could walk right up to those memories and touch them. I want to go there with my adult self to tell the ghosts what they meant to me. How special they were. How I never forgot.
Of course, Deflector doesn’t see any of this, he’s tugging the hand of a crazy lady who’s lost in a time warp, feet not wanting to move.
“Mum, what are you doing?”
I look at my baby, who is not such a baby, and I swear it was yesterday that I was in his shoes, 11 years old and in this very office for my own highschool interview.
How does the time move so fast?
So close together.
It brings home the message that life really IS too short. Yeah I know we say that all the time.
Flip it off like so many words.
It takes something like this, this timewarp, to really realise that our time here is a speck.
I felt it today.
And I spend the rest of the day looking at my boy, really soaking him in because I know that soon he won’t let me hold his hand in the school yard.
In a blink, the sapling I planted will be a towering tree.
In a blink, it will be my grandchild standing here in these shoes. With my adult son looking at the ghosts of his childhood, wondering where the hell the time has gone.