acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Saturday, January 24, 2009

that inner child



I am sitting looking at these two ancient photos of myself my sister and friends when we were very young. It is a strange thing. The photos have yellowed slightly giving them a golden tinge. The sea and beach and rocks and ourselves all caught in a moment of history. A blip in the planetary twirl of life.

My sister and I are standing together on a rock in the shallows. She has a plaster on her knee. She was always running running running – like a mobile windmill. She is holding a packet. I am guessing from the grins its probably sweets. I am holding my hair back with one hand – having hair problems even then. The sea is glassy and clear. I can smell the briny seaweed and barnacles of the rocky coastline. It is west wales and the sun is shining – like it always did when we were very young.

In the next picture we are sitting on a boat trailer with two little friends. Daughters of my parents friends. We all used to holiday together and go to each others birthday parties. Wrapped in the secure warmth of loving families how could we know what to expect when the weather of life became changeable, breaking sunshine with stormy, epic, drizzly, or drought filled days.


Was that really me? I look like someone I would like to hug. Looking at this photo and recalling memories buried deep in the undergrowth and detritus of life events I am reminded that we are supposed to nurture our inner child. And that doesn’t just mean buying sweets and ice-creams and playing childish pranks. It also means protecting from harm. Keeping the inner one safe even if the outer one thinks she can cope with any and all of the tough stuff that comes her way. In this photo I am face to face with her – my inner child and how can I explain everything that has happened?

My father had a super 8 home movie camera. Many of these holidays and family events were recorded on reels and reels of shiny footage. We used to beg him to play them backwards - Laughing hysterically as someone exited the water backwards at speed, or ran backwards across the lawn, followed by backward racing dogs.
We lost all those films when dampness crept into the storage space, but snippets remain in my brain. Flashbacks of sunshine, smiles and face pulling sessions. I suppose that is how it should be.

Good memories, happy times, great friends and an incredible African life – I have so much to be thankful for too. I think I deserve chocolate.

(with apologies to those who have already seen these pics on my fb page….ok I’m over it now...I think... )

23 comments:

karen said...

val, i love those old photos, and the evocations of precious memories... how I laughed, also remembering the backwards Super8 movies and the way it definitely was always sunny..keep on hugging that inner child & have a good dose of chocolate! x

Val said...

hi karen - thanks! if we had saved those movies i would only play them backwards. pity we cant do that with time tho :-) i will try to keep hugging her but she keeps wriggling...hehe - you hug yours too xx

Katherine said...

Ah, summers in New Zealand, they last forever paddling pool on the lawn and all the yellow grass and worms underneath when the pool was picked up again... Thank you for prompting my memories! You certainly do look huggable. I, on the other hand was skinny as a rake and all bony angles!

Kristin said...

I forget about my own inner child entirely too much, the one with the tangled hair and love of ice cream, scraped knees and fear of strangers. She probably needs a hug and definitely some sweets.

Great pictures of you and your sister, your friends. Thanks for sharing.

Neo said...

yup, sounds like me, I remember, don't have them any more but older shots of my brother sister and myself wonderful memories

Reya Mellicker said...

I loved seeing these pics and yes yes you are someone who should be hugged frequently and with great enthuiasm.

When I look at old pics of myself and my sisters I'm always amazed to think of how much time has passed. I can remember clearly the outfits I was wearing even way back then.

you know, the sun wasn't always shining in Wales, even when you were a kid. When it's sunny is when the parents always decide to take pictures. You knew that, yes?

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I've been wondering about those pics on FB - so nice to hear the story behind them - I love old photos and you've reminded me to ask my mom about all those old movies my father made when I was little!
It's always so special to step back in time like that and just remember.

And yes, nurture that inner child, it's one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.
xxx

Angela said...

Sweet little Vally, I would have loved to have you as one of my pupils! My heart is flying to you. Oh yes, those old yellowed memories...
Treat your older self as gentle as you would have done it with your young one. You really haven`t changed all that much, only have gained some wisdom.

Fire Byrd said...

The are just so evocative of a time long gone, when the summers were always perfect.
Lovely to see yours, you look a happy little girl.
xx

e said...

Wow, Val! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your girlhood! Too many people are utterly disconnected from our lifelong companion inner children...Mine misses the rain forest, tropical beaches, fruits grown in soil and not shipped in trucks. She loves all kinds of music and I believe is behind the camera and the impulse to write...

Lori ann said...

Oh Val, i want to hug you and hold you. You know that saying, "I am every age I've ever been"? You don't need those old movies because you can remember in your mind what it was to be 4 or 14 or 24...i think you are completely charming. thanks for sharing the photo and memories with us!and do what geli and karen say ok?
xxx lori

Tessa said...

Beautiful children, wonderful childhood...and so appropriate that those memories should be tinged with gold. What a very special post...thank you, Val.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Lovely memories. You do look happy, whether it's the sweets or not!

CJ xx

Val said...

katherine - yes yellow grass and worms :-)

kristin - yes its apparently easy to forget...

neo - great memories yes

Reya - are you sure? i seem to remember permanent sunshine way back when....but then we never had drought either so you are probably right :-)

Ab Van - yes dig out those old movies - such fun

Angela - would have loved to be one of your pupils then i would def have gained some wisdom x

Fire Byrd - yes somehow so much more than just family pics - a window on another world another time...

e - you sound as tho you are in touch. which rainforest and tropical beach `i wonder?

Hi Lori - yes you are right, with a little prompting so much comes back x

Tessa - thanks!

CJ - yes i think we were. the sweets were prob to make up for the plaster on the knee. looking back i now realise how very lucky we were..

thanks all for your comments- and hugs-
xxxV

Angela said...

Did you see that Tessa gave you an award? Luz en el alma Premio!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

You absolutely deserve chocolate!

Those photos are absolutely precious, and as usual, your writing awakens each and every sense. I know exactly what barnacles smell like....

I am sorry about the loss of the film, but you still have these precious photos, and of course nobody can take away your memories and the photos made from them.

pink dogwood said...

the sun is shining – like it always did when we were very young.

Now if could only hold on to that.

What a beautiful post - makes me ponder :)

ok - I will go have some chocolate as well :)

pam said...

I loved that piece of writing and the pics - very evokative - very funny and poignant. Yes, have chocolate at all costs!

Pam,

e said...

Val,

I will answer your question on a future Blog posting at Life In Progress...

Ladybird World Mother said...

We had those super 8 ?? movies too... loved them, and the 'flicka flicka' of the film as it ran through the projector... we still have them and I keep meaning to change them into CDs. But... life and all... washing up always seems to come first! Love your photos.
You all look Adorable!

pink dogwood said...

I have tagged you on my blog in hopes of seeing more pictures and hearing more stories :)

Barbara said...

Childhood is a time of innocence. It ends only too quickly.

Fire Byrd said...

If you want to play the game then your letter is R
xx