Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Memory of a Moment

It was the summer of 1976.  We were living in Nuremburg, Germany.  Like most families who did not have a father ranked higher than a Major, we lived in an apartment building.  My family would sometimes drive to one of the other military posts for barbecues or other family friendly events.  The name of the family we visited that summer day escapes me, but back then all the kids played together whether we knew each other or not. We all knew that if we played together, the adults would begin to relax and we would have some unsupervised time. Today we were a group of ten, including my brother, and we were on a mission.  We gathered, and we eyed the prize.

This apartment building had a huge hill in the back yard.  

Covered in soft, luxurious grass that seemed to pillow our feet, the hill challenged our bravery with a sixty degree angle.  Most of us had to crawl up that hill on all fours; only the shortest of us could climb standing up.  Once we were at the top, we looked down from our precipice, our parents tiny and insignificant.  I could hear the radio blaring out the Bellamy Brothers' "Let Your Love Flow", and that song was forever paired with this hill on this day.   All of us stretched ourselves out along the summit, head to toe, in a long line.  There was some nervous giggling, but that was to be expected.  Childhood is not for the faint of heart, especially not when there are hills to conquer.

We all pulled our arms into our chests, closed our eyes.  I took a deep breath...and rolled off the summit and down the hill.  The grass felt cool at first against the skin of my legs and arms as I rolled, and I felt myself becoming more and more disoriented as dizziness overcame me.  The pleasant coolness of the grass became itchy toward the end, but that only intensified the experience.  All too soon, I was at the bottom of the hill, where gravity slowed me to a stop.  For a moment I lay on my back, looking at the slowly spinning clouds in the blue sky while I caught my breath. I sat up, and the world wavered a bit; my stomach protested, weakly. I heard laughter, and joined in.  We were all in the moment, and that moment was pure joy.

I jumped up, and we all scrambled back up the hill so we could roll down again and again, while the Bellamy Brothers sang our song.

Just let your love flow
Like a mountain stream
And let your love grow
With the smallest of dreams
And let your love show
And you know what I mean
It's the season


Mamakat's Writing Prompt:  2.) What one memory from your childhood always makes you smile, no matter what? (inspired by Not Just Another Mom Blogger).  <-----Look Ma!  I was inspirational!

10 comments:

  1. Must have been hardere getting up that hill the second time. What do you think that would be like for our slightly older than then bodies?

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    1. I would probably need one of those ski lifts!

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  2. I LOVE rolling down hills (well I did as a kid and haven't done so in a very long time). I was right there with you as you described the sensations especially the breathless disorientation at the end. And I "heard" the song with the lyrics at the end. Great memory. You are right about playing nicely so the parents lose interest and relax. We did that too!

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    1. If my parents only knew half of what we did, I still would be grounded.

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  3. I used to do the same thing as a kid. It was one of my favorite things to do.

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    1. If we had a hill to roll down right now, I would!

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  4. Oh my gosh, I LOVE that song!! What a great memory.

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    1. I know! Every time I hear that song, it takes me back to that hill!

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  5. Nothing better than a big ol' hill for rolling down. Well, when you're a kid anyway. If I tried that now I'd probably break a few things!

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    1. I'd have an allergy attack from the grass. Growing old is sad sometimes!

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