Summers Past

Summer, from the eyes of a child, seems to go on forever. From the first hints of warmer days to the endless break from school, a break so long that you forget you ever have to go back. These are the times you remember when reflecting on your school years; outdoor activities, fun with friends and endless amounts of daylight. I am fairly certain that a lot of my childhood memories didn’t even happen in the summertime, but to me it seems like all of them did. I know that’s my spectacles shaded with the subtlest hint of rose, but I feel I can live with that. I think we play good memories at 24 frames per second, with just the slightest surreal motion blur and more than a touch of soft diffusion.

A memory that sticks out strongly in my mind is picking blackberries with my sister and my grandparents, certainly a summer activity. We would walk from their house to an area of woodland that has since been built over. It seemed like we walked for miles before reaching dense crops of ripe blackberries, each of us with a container in hand and an excitement that was barely held in check. We would spend a long time picking the berries, avoiding the thorns as much as possible but never succeeding in total evasion. Later, with our vessels full and our hands stained purple we would head on the long hike back home where, in true idyllic fashion, the berries would be washed and my grandmother would set to making a pie while my grandfather took his afternoon nap, a nap as ritualistic as our weekend visits. I have no clear memory of eating the pie, though I am certain we would have done. They always had a lot of visitors at the weekend so undoubtedly it would have been a small piece.

Time has since taken both grandparents and neither their house or that walk are things I shall ever see again, but the memory stands out as one of the good ones, and I rarely see blackberries growing by the roadside without thinking of those long journeys.

There comes a time when you focus on making memories for others, rather than for yourself. My son, pictured here, has already started forming his and I now consider it my role to help him along as much as I can. His childhood journey is well underway and only time will tell what moments he takes with him into adulthood. I work hard to make sure that they are happy ones. Though he doesn’t have a regular visit to his grandparents as I did, he still does plenty of things that I hope he will be able to look fondly back on with that same film-like surreal motion with which I often see my summers past.