the edge of childhood

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Painting by Joy Watts

What do you think is in the forest? …

I think that’s where all my missing footballs are.

I’d say there are dragons with great big blue wings.

Not dragons. There is a village of foxes that make a plan every day how to get our chickens.

Or a trail that leads to a magic waterfall that, when you swim in it, takes you to a palace in the mountains.

Woof

Don’t be stupid. It’s just a bunch of trees.


How could you say that? You’ve still never been in there.

Do you think that anything would happen to me if I looked for my footballs?

The dragons would help you, they are nice dragons.

The foxes are probably using them to practice sneaking.

Maybe they fell into the waterfall. Oh! Can I go look for you?

Woof woof

That isn’t even realistic. You’d just get scratches all over you, and for what? Nothing.


Who cares if it’s realistic. Can’t you remember how to just have fun anymore?

Maybe we should send her in to look for them. If she comes out alive then it’s safe.

I think I just saw one! Did you see that bit of blue? Look!

I missed it. Think that the foxes and the dragons are friends?

Probably, I don’t see how they could be anything but friends when they drink such delicious magic water.

Woof

You are all crazy. I don’t know why I even bother with you. You are so immature.


Maybe you just can’t see from there. Why don’t you climb the fence like us?

There could be anything in there. Climb up! Tell me what you can see.

My dragons might even like you enough to let us see them again.

Your dragons? If they are your dragons then the foxes are mine.

Climb up with us. You used to love this. Remember the birds that used to sing their songs just for us?

Woof woof

… well … maybe … just this one last time.

*This writing was in response to the painting above for Space/Place A Visual and Literary Art Exhibition for Core Art @ St. Catherine’s, June 2015.

small town with 1,000 innocent memories

Small boats made of popsicle sticks floated down the rainwater rivers beside the footpath of our street. Crouched down low, we positioned them just right. When they weren’t around we reverted to placing sticks and leaves in the streams and watching them float as far as they could. Down the road by the school we watched the bald eagles soar once. The murky ponds rimmed in cattails were the homes of ducks and geese in the summer and outdoor skating rinks in the winter.

2014-05-27 17.51.16-1I fell in love over and over again at the hockey rink. So many hockey players to choose from! Eventually I was banned from flirting beside the players bench. But it was under a towel covered picnic table at the local swimming pool where I found my childhood love.

2014-05-27 18.29.49-1I picked up chopsticks and learned to use them at the Tasty Mill. The options for eating out were Chinese, Chinese, Chinese or Pizza. The Shangri La, where I regularly ordered grilled cheese sandwiches, was reserved for Sunday lunch. The spooky, abandoned looking Chinese restaurant reportedly had the best in town. It still looks spooky and closed. It still is reputed to have the best in town.

2014-05-27 18.23.31-1Down by the reservoir we went canoeing once to spot the beavers the town was named after. There must have been 30 at least. My fear of swimming in wild places started there as I truly believed the rumours that piranhas had been let loose and were living there. Walking closer to the waters edge, my minds eye was filling in the sights and sounds of baptisms. Stories and confessions of faith from young and old. Water broken and dripping. Towel covered hugs. I have decided to follow Jesus.

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Grandmothers in church taught me handcrafts. I blame my early pursuit of embroidery and crochet on them. If I hadn’t won all those first prize ribbons at the autumn fair I might not have kept on trying.

This town holds 1,000 innocent memories from my childhood. Each time I visit, they return to me again.

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