Seldom can I recall the fickle whimsies of my childhood.
What I do remember is faded, faces blurred and voices distorted. Time and place flicker until I am left with a tangled mesh of shards. Day becomes night, vast woods turn into crooked table legs, and muffled voices trade places on badly synced lips. I cannot remember where or when, or my great-grandmother's name, or her last words to me before the night carried her away.
But I remember gentle, calloused hands. I remember deep roads of wrinkles etched onto a map of leather and liver spots. Canyons curved into smiles, deep rivers swimming with quiet knowledge, and deep pools of untapped stories ringed with nostalgia.
I cannot distinctly recall my room, but at the time I can, Brief moments when the faintest of sunlight hits the long darkened corners of my mind where the cobwebs of adulthood have long over grown the boxes of child reminiscence. I recall the window with its lacey curtains and baby blue shutters anchoring the climbing ivy. I remember it as my tower, my castle, and I was the ruler gazing dutifully on a kingdom of tire swings and squirrel knights.
I can still taste the shell of autumn on my tongue, and the sweetest songs songs flying on the beckoning wind. I remember the smell of fermenting apples in afternoons tinged with yellows and reds and browns. I remember the tickle of grass along my legs as I raced grasshoppers and field mice to the pumpkin patch in excitement for the harvest. I remember the sweetness of the first pie I made and how I poured in a whole bag of sugar when I thought Mother wasn't looking. She was, of course. And she still thought it was delicious anyways,
I remember these islands of clarity among a turbulent sea of uncertain thoughts and rocky times. Blurred out fragments wrapped in smells I cannot recall and warmth I have long forgotten.
I remembered these things, but only as I stood before my childhood home. The shadows and light cast dappled patterns onto the dilapidated spaces of broken windows and mold-ridden entryways. Where once was a garden was not a tangle of brown branches and weeds. The lawn had long since stopped being a lawn, opting instead to take the title of jungle. I remembered it all, and the longer I stood there, the more I remembered.
Yet, as the breeze of a passing fall brushed by, I forget everything all at once.