It snowed hard here yesterday.
We must have had about 10″ of snow come down by the time the day was finished….maybe more. I haven’t been outside yet to step in it.
I woke up this morning thinking about my family.
I always am thinking about my own family, of course… but this morning, I laid in bed and thought about some of my relatives out West for a while.
I wondered how much snow was on the ground out in Idaho.
I wondered how the guys were doing out in Spokane.
And then I started thinking again about my Aunt Joyce…and how sometimes…no, often…when we went out for a visit she’d serve us fruit in these bowls that she had.
From what I remember, they were some kind of blossom patterned bowls…I always thought that it was a dogwood blossom, though it may have been cherry or apple or something else that I didn’t really know about.
We’d have a peach sliced up…or some fresh raspberries from the garden…or maybe some strawberries brought back from Aunt Martha’s house.
We’d have this fruit in these bowls…with some cream poured over the fruit.
Always with some cream.
The air is different out West.
It’s different from the moist air I’ve grown used to after living in the South for a while.
You could go out on the back porch in your pajamas and not freeze when it was 45° out in the morning.
When I was a kid, I thought that was pretty different.
I stopped going out in my pajamas when I got older.
I remember sitting in the kitchen, in that cool dry air…eating fruit out of these dogwood bowls…and feeling comfortable and happy and safe.
It wasn’t necessarily the dogwood bowls that made me feel safe.
They’re just some sort of memory trigger for me.
I’ve seen that pattern again from time to time…but I couldn’t find a picture on the internet, so the image of these dogwood bowls will have to just be something I carry in my head.
The funny thing about all these memories is that, in the moment they were being made, bringing me some fruit in a dogwood bowl was just an offhand kindness.
It wasn’t a grand moment, or a gesture that demanded that it be absorbed and remembered. It wasn’t something that was orchestrated to be an “important moment”.
It was just something nice that my Aunt Joyce did for me when I visited her out in Washington.
It was something simple and kind.
It was something that I always remember.
I mentioned “sustaining memories” yesterday…and this is another one of mine that lurks in the back of my mind, ready to be pulled out if I need to remember that I am loved.
I think that we all have our “totems”…things that, to someone who doesn’t share our connection to the memories an item holds for us, look nondescript and without importance.
Maybe it’s a dime store ring that a Grandparent won for us at the carnival.
Maybe it’s the only surviving picture from our childhood after a house fire that tried to crowd out the good memories.
Maybe it’s a dogwood bowl filled with some fresh fruit and cream….the cool air blowing softly through the window, moving the curtains gently….and my parents and my Aunt Joyce smiling at me while I ate.
PS…my sister found this picture for me. I thought it was dogwood flowers…but it may have been apples. I don’t know…but I think this may have been it. Memory is a funny thing. Jenny found this picture, too…to give her credit…but I wasn’t sure. Memory is funny/strange. The bowl looked like this, anyway. Flowers or apples, it looked like this.