I have heard people claim to remember events from their childhoods, some clearly as far back as their toddler years. Maybe they do. I don’t.
What I have are flashes, pictures that come to me. Sometimes I know their context, sometimes I don’t even know that.
My earliest memory is of me as a preschooler sitting at window at the front of our apartment, waiting for my grandmother to come home because she always brought me a treat of some kind. I turned and watched her walk up the stairs and down the hall and wondered why she didn’t speak to me. Then I heard the door open and her walk up the stairs and greet me.
The apartment was across from a grand hospital that had once been someone’s home. I remember my sister and me crawling under the fence to play on the grounds of the hospital. I loved that park with its soft grass and towering oak trees. Eventually the hospital was turned into apartments and the land leveled for parking.
We didn't live in that apartment long because strange things kept happening to people in the family. I remember a dream I had there when I was four or five, and it still gives me the creeps.
I’m currently working through the book, “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again” by Julia Cameron. Thanks to some of the exercises, I have discovered that if I set aside the time to think about and explore the fragment of a memory, one image leads to another and more of my childhood is revealed, or perhaps imagined. Unfortunately ,still nothing from my toddler years.
How far back do your memories take you?