Friday, May 30, 2014

chapters

Here is a picture of my blithe and bonnie big sister. It was taken in the mid-sixties and now SHE is in her mid-sixties.

There are so many things I love about this picture.
I love her smile.
It is an echo of my father's.
And it reveals a defining quality I admire so much; an optimism, a hopeful, happy way of viewing life.

Even if I didn't know when this picture was taken, the shift dress says sixties loud and clear.
She probably sewed it herself.
And the hair!
Piled high like lemon meringue pie.
Once, she even sprinkled it with glitter dust.
Be still my heart.
I would have been in grade three then and we had moved at last from the womb of Blue River to big city Kamloops.
Kamloops, where my older siblings had been boarding out and attending high school.
It was the first year all together as a family since I was two or three.
The togetherness only lasted one year.
And then we all moved at once it seems.
We were scattered to the four winds.
They had been forced into an early independence and gladly stretched their wings and flew.
And the rest of us, like homing pigeons, returned to a familiar valley....

I find that I tend to divide my childhood memories into before Kamloops and after Kamloops. Before has taken on the burnished glow of memories sorted and polished.
But the 'after' memories contain some of the bitterness that is an inescapable ingredient at life's table.
The thing about real life is that while we search for happy endings, life continues ever onward.
The present emerges out of the past.
Story is built upon chapter.
And it's a thick book with many chapters.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Glenda, this is a very touching memory about your sister. Do you live near each other? Does the age difference force a distance? I understand the name of your blog now....your sorted and polished memories. I am 63 now, my husband 67, and we both have lost our parents, aunts and uncles, even friends to death. It puts a parenthesis around life. I've lived longer than my father and have only 10 years before I reach my mother's age at her death. I've written my father's family's 300-year history (what I know of it). I've even written down all my childhood memories, going through letters & journals & photo albums, but I can't say I've sorted nor polished them like you have. Mine are just laid out before me--organized by year--like my journals stored in the attic. Stored chronologically in my mind and in the attic...

I was wondering if you follow Kristie's Blog "North of 49". She used to live in Kamloops and only recently moved to Cultus Lake.