Monday, 14 October 2013

Sweet and sour

Sometimes passing what remains of my infant and junior schools, the playgrounds sans buildings makes me melancholy.  That is a good word it tastes the way it means.  Mostly I just remind myself in a paranoid fashion that someone is demolishing my history.

School yard but no school.

They knocked down the maternity hospital where I was born, the a-fore mentioned infants and juniors. Both the buildings of my senior school and sixth form are gone, parts of my college, with the rest waiting to be destroyed and turned into a super market. Admittedly the latter establishments have shiny modern replacements but still it is a relief the house is still there when I get back.

But sometimes what I recall is playing in the school yard as a child and my grandparents, my mothers parents, coming for a visit unannounced, walking from the bus stop past my school to my home.  Pausing at the playground, calling my name until someone told me they were there, I was fiercely single minded as a child an often did not hear them myself.  Then would come the boiled sweets, (hard candy for Americans) from my grandfathers pocket, sailing over the fence to my eager hands.

The memory is bitter sweet, my grandmother died when I was eleven, my grandfather a few years later. Our time here on earth overlapped for such a sort span.  I think of the Littmus Lozenge from Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie, the sweet with the sour, joy with sadness.

This is a memory which contains both, and on those occasions my minds journey back influences my movement in the now and my pace slows almost without me realising it.