(Nostalgia) The taste of early things lives on.

water-ocean-sea-wave-beach

As a boy I knew none of this. In the summer we went to the beach, Atlantic City, and stayed with my maternal grandparents: my mother, cousins, aunts, and I. Across the bright flatlands and bridges, the earth of the roadside losing its color, we drove, children in a separate compartment, the rumble seat, in back, hair blowing, arms waving in happiness. There was sea smell in the air and sun in the bedroom windows. The rhythm of life was set by adults but the carefree joys were ours.

We played all day in the sand, down where it was smoothest, the green sea hissing at our feet. Not far offshore was the black wreckage of a small coastal steamer. We were unable to go near it but it is stuck there in memory, the sea swelling over it and then pouring away, the water dropping in sheets from its sides…The taste of early things lives on.

In my mouth I feel the freshness of farm tomatoes and salt, the scrambled eggs my grandmother made, the unexpected gulps of sea. In my heart there remains childish love for those cousins, whom I saw only seldom and who later drifted away entirely.

~ James Salter, Burning the Days: Recollection


Image: “Beach Breaks” D.Fodie – Retrospective

Cousin Billy


Saturdays during my childhood were spent playing with our cousins.  Or fishing.

Billy was the oldest by a year. Like his Dad, he was built to run and had a spiritual connection with nature. With ease, Billy filled his match box with grasshoppers (for fish bait) while we stumbled around with the creatures making a mockery of us.

We’d grab our fishing poles and race our bikes to the Kootenay River.  Billy would bound ahead from rock to rock. With grace.  Like an Aboriginal Tracker.  Quiet. Surefooted. No energy wasted.

The rest of us were in pursuit.  Jimmy’s arms and legs flying. Baby fat rhythmically swinging up and down with each stride.  Sweating profusely. Screaming at us to “wait up.” 

[Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: