Saturday, January 21, 2012
Throughout my life I have enjoyed a
memory of lying awake outdoors. The view above me is swaying gently, so I think it is probably a swinging cradle, not a stationary crib, that holds me. My eyes are wide open and curious. There is a sense of security and delight in
discovery as I watch the blue sky overhead.
It is a pleasantly warm, sunny afternoon, and I see green leaves
against the sky. They are not maple or
oak leaves, or any other species that grow in New England, but leaves of another type of tree that I never see in my life now. I am transfixed by the sight of the exotic leaves moving gently against a bright blue sky
tinged with gold. It is a tropical sky.
Once again I remember: the leaves were of a tree that I no longer see against the backdrop
of a sky I no longer know except in my heart.
Mixed up with other
memories, I remember falling from that hammock or, I should say,
falling with it to the ground. I remember the sound of something breaking and the sensation of falling and hitting the ground with full gravitational force. The air
was suddenly and completely knocked out of my lungs and my only reaction to that
sensation was a blink or two of pure shock. I felt no pain but it was hard to get my breath back.
My mother has corroborated that
once, the rope holding up my swinging cradle broke,
bringing me and cradle to the ground. According to her, the cradle wasn’t very high
off the ground, maybe just a few feet at most, but I remember the crash as if I
had fallen from a great height. I was
unharmed, but shaken.