Date and Time: 9/7 at 11:04 am
Weather: Sunny and warm
I have trouble with “earliest memories.” But I think it’s important that I remember this one.
The motion would either make me feel nauseous, and suddenly I was in something of a ziplock bag, being toted around like one of my dolls, or I’d start to feel like I was coming under hypnosis. I’m not sure I knew what hypnosis was exactly at the time, but I knew a decent amount about princesses and spells. On this particular day, though, I cast my physical responses aside, no bags or spells, because I had embarked on an adventure. Today grey pavement did not roll out like an endless carpet, little houses didn’t smear together in a beige and white affect, cars ceased to glare at me through my little window to the world and fill my imagination with chrome and gasoline. Today my faded blue adn green and pink buggy braved a chalky trail that opened up every shade of green and brown to me. My stead was probably hoping he would avoid a flat tire and that mom was making stromboli for dinner. But my sticky hands gripped my knees in excitement as I looked onto the beauty that we were racing through the middle of. It was like the tree in my front yard and the couple in the back had aunts and uncles and cousins and this is where they lived. I felt guilty keeping them so far from such a family gathering. The air smelt different here, I thought. More like air. And the trees and the air danced back and forth as my dad and I pushed them along. It was like having a chorus of people constantly waving you goodbye. This made me kind of sad. People you never get to know, only saying goodbye. I was just glad they saw me. I tried to slow the filmstrip down by pressing my eyes against the mesh panels on the side,and I attempted to look at one tree. To catch one that was trying to fly by like the rest. Bu that seemed to make them go by even faster. So I returned to my backwards view through the thick plastic-y door. What I wanted was to get out, I really wanted to get out. I’d then hold a leaf in my hand. And then just sit down in front of my looming farewellers and listen to what they had to say. But I’d tried that before, and my stead was not a fan of pit stops. So I sat back and hummed a made-up song while I watched the tops of the trees bend inwards together, the waves now accompanied by a brief embrace.
I had a conversation with a friend last night about kids’ deprivation of nature today. “Earliest memories” of being in nature may cease to exist within the next couple of generations. Who does that scare? Because it terrifies me. I can say very confidently I would not be the person I am had I not ran around barefoot, had dirt not been a part of my complexion, had I not cut up plants with rocks to make “food” for our small village on the high school’s overgrown hill. In fact, I’m just as confident in saying I wouldn’t like the person I may have become without those experiences. It’s actually even hard for me to believe that that day could really come. It seems even with an Xbox and Disney Channel and Facebook and computer games, the nature of childhood is Nature. We have it intrinsically in us to have dirty fingernails and holes in our jeans. But I know that the day is coming. At the rate we’re living, anyhow. And in my mind nothing much else could be worse. In my friends’, it will be the “demise of society.”