Distant Memories

Recently, distant memories have started to appear in my mind, like watching an old newsreel clip for the briefest time. They are always childhood memories, mere snapshots of when I was very young, little more than a toddler. As I don’t remember many specifics before I started school at the age of five, those earliest memories fascinate me. They show that memory starts much earlier than I had ever considered.

With the benefit of age, I can now place those memories in their time, in their part of my life. Perhaps growing older and being a reflective person makes them more interesting to me. I don’t know the answer, but I do enjoy those ‘time-travel’ momentary flashbacks.

Sometimes they appear as dreams, and at other times pop into my head as I am driving, or walking around with Ollie. They open a window onto my childhood that I had never previously experienced, and I see them as a blessing.

My dad is trying to light a coal fire on a very cold day. My mum is holding me, having wrapped me in a knitted blanket, and the smoke from the fire refusing to catch is coming out into the room. Dad is holding a newspaper across the fireplace, and my mum gets up to open the window slightly, hoping to let the smoke out of the room.

I am holding a wooden toy. I don’t know what toy it is, but I can feel the wood. My dad enters the room with a towel around his neck and looks down at me, smiling. I hold whatever it is up to him, showing it to him as if he has never seen it before.

Mum is singing to me. I don’t know the song, but I am enjoying listening to it. She is smoking a cigarette, and I am fascinated by the long ash at the end. It grows longer and longer, and I am sure it will fall onto the chair.

A warm day, probably at the seaside on holiday. Mum is holding me as we sit on a small fairground ride. We are astride a wooden animal, perhaps a horse, and the ride is rotating slowly. She tells me to look at my dad, and he has a camera to his face, taking our photo.

I am in the small back garden of my maternal grandparents’ house. My grandfather reaches out to stop me stumbling, taking my hand. He shows me a handful of runner beans he has just picked. I can smell the earth in the garden.

I hope I continue to get many more of these distant memories. I like them a lot.

78 thoughts on “Distant Memories

  1. Nice post Pete. Curious how the interworkings of our mind decide what to present to our conscience. I also find it curious how a son’s relationship gets strained with our fathers in our teens, too.

    Hoping your dad-son relationship got close again as time went on.

    Cheers,

    CT

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Memories are a good thing for most….but some have those of the horrors they have witnessed and those are usually stronger than others…..I like reading about yours…..keep up the good work my friend. chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a new department openig up in my memory banks, chuq. Mostly good, very brief, and evocative with touch and smell. It feels as if I have gone back in time for very short periods. I am enjoying it.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your memories Pete. I don’t have many strong ones before 4 or 5 years of age. I do get glimpses on occasion like the ones you mentioned. It’s heartwarming. It seems you had family that treated you with love and care, I did too, I’m ever so grateful. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad was very good to me, until I got into my teens. After that, he didn’t like me at all. These very early recollections are new to me, and I am enjoying those short revelations a great deal.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of my recent ones are very nice too. Mainly because they involve good times with Ollie, and some nice old-fashioned holidays on the east coast. But I know what you mean. 🙂
      I hope you are both well, dear ladies. I had my booster vaccination yesterday.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  4. Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home.” The Brothers Karamazov
    You are fortunate to have these wonderful memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My childhood memories probably begin around the age of four, just before I started school. Even then I have hazy memories of my Nana who apparently lived with us for 6 months of the year!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I enjoy the authenticity of a few very early memories that are not supported by photographs or any stories told by others. Like I can remember a few distinct moments of play with a younger brother who died right after I turned four. And I remember even earlier walking in on my grandmother in the bath tub and she told me that a “gentleman” does not do that.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My earliest memory I think, I say think because I don’t know if it’s an actual memory or something I’ve been told, is of going to see my grandad on his death bed at the age of three. I certainly can’t remember anything of my early childhood in the detail that you can. What an absolute gift to have those vivid early memories.

    Angie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Angie. Although I have always vividly remembered my first day at school at the age of five, these more recent memories have come as a revelation to me. I am really enjoying them! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  8. I have often tried to see if I can recall my earliest memories. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish if it is an actual memory or an amalgam of experiences. The first memory of a childhood home is more like looking at a photo album: I can see several rooms, but oddly not my bedroom. I think the basement walls were unfinished concrete. I was probably about 3 years old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t consciously try to think back, Leon. These have just started to appear in my mind for no real reason.
      I do remember my first day at school when I was five though. As if it happened yesterday.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My daughter can’t believe how many sharp memories I have of early childhood, she claims to not remember much. Now my younger son is living with me and remembering his dad he turns out to recall all our holidays – which were never to Disneyland, all in Britain including Norfolk. Ps I can still smell the peaches in my infant school friend’s back garden!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting. I wonder if this is a natural concomitant of age, as our brain gradually adjusts to changes in our bodies? I always consider that I have a very poor recall of my childhood, especially the earlier years, but perhaps a similar thing will happen to me? My dreams tend to be very erratic, but it will be worth trying to be more aware of what seem like actual memories; of course, this intention could actually produce them, but how accurate they might be is another matter! Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I cannot guarantee that these are all genuine of course. They might well be a construct of my brain, for all I know. But they feel real, and because they contain senses like smell and touch, that makes them all the more fascinating to me, Jon.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.