Seven Souls One Musing : Volume 5

What is your most cherished childhood memory?

Kathleen McCullough
Parachute Promise
It was the summer of 1978 in Georgia. My 10-year-old brother was entrusted with his five- and six-year-old tag-along sisters. Before leaving the house, he took a large olive green spool of thread from Mother’s sewing basket. He had already planned the day’s magic to delight the little sisters he adored.

We wandered together through large green fields, and I remember it smelled of summer. In the center of one field, we came to a stop. He had us sit down, and he passed out a fistful of honeysuckle flowers he’d secretly gathered and taught us how to extract the sweet nectar from the soft, velvety stems.

Squinting up at him, we watched in fascination as he began to tie dark green thread around the leg of a dog day cicada. Then without warning, he let it go. Our eyes popped open wide, and we giggled with delight. A great buzzing sound suddenly rose to mingle with our laughter. The cicada began to fly in a circular pattern, controlled by my brother and the string on its leg. With the mastery of a magician he slowly began to let the string out, expanding its circular flight.

This is my most cherished childhood memory because in that moment, my siblings and I belonged to one another. My brother was still a hero to my sister and me—with sun dappled hair, the elixir of honeysuckle in his pockets, and the power to create magic.

Garrett Eastman
When I was young I conceived in my mind a TV station and thought of the programs it would carry, usually modeled on or parodying the conventional network TV stations that were available in our area. With my friend Arthur, using a cassette player and a microphone, we began to write and record rudimentary programs. The one we put most energy into was a series of interviews where I played a hapless ignorant person, Arthur the earnest interviewer, and my older brother Andrew usually portrayed some indignant educational or cultural representative. In one slot Andrew was trying to introduce me to classical music and my responses were “Oh, this is scary,” and “Actually this is kind of dumb.” Another involved a pompous doctor lecturing on health and together with the interviewer we exposed his corruption and incompetence. We never got beyond the homemade tape stage to video. Imagine what we might have done today with YouTube and a flip camera or a smart phone. (Happy Birthday Arthur, wherever you are today.)

Alison Ciarlante
My most cherished childhood memory is going to my Aunt Joan’s house with my sister and brother. Aunt Joan had 3 awesome dogs, one for each of us. My brother had Dozer, a big muscular dog. My sister had Fee Fee, a small white mutt. And I got Scamp, a little black mutt. We would take “our” dogs for a walk through her fields, which were at least 3 acres. I would take Scamp and sit on a grassy hill and pretend he was my dog. I’d sit there for what seemed like hours, daydreaming and talking to him. It was pure magic. My dog for the day!

Judy Clement Wall
Zebra Sounds
My parents had these old fashioned desk intercoms, and my brothers and I used to take them into separate rooms. One room was the radio station, and one was the “listening audience.” Whoever got to be in the radio station would put the intercom next to their record player, and play “the hits from around the globe,” with lots of commentary about why that song was awesome or why it sucked. There were traffic alerts for weird stuff (pianos, giraffes, space shuttles) blocking the lanes, and weather reports predicting Armageddon. We played a game called “Name That Sound.” The DJ would tickle the dog, or brush her teeth, or flip through the pages of a book, and the “listening audience” would call in to guess the sound for a chance to win “fabulous prizes.” Once I forgot we were playing and wandered off. I told my DJ brother, when he got mad, I forgot we were playing because he was so good. “It was just like listening to the real radio.”

Cori Berg
When I was a child we were blessed to have a miniature grove of aspen trees right in our backyard. A simple platform amidst those trees became my imaginary home in the woods. I spent hours and hours there… not just making mud pie concoctions and playing my own version of Swiss Family Robinson, but communing in the solitude of nature. I can still feel the dappled sunlight playing in on my face as I would lay on my back in that “house” while the sun came through the dancing leaves over me. Those tiny little leaves moving in the wind became tiny chimes lulling me into peace. When I was sad or lonely, this was my comfort place. When I was happy, I could come and share my joy with the trees. I have such gratitude for growing up with the gift of time. So many well-intentioned parents micromanage their children’s lives in order to give them every opportunity possible to develop skills and interests. Yet I am a creative person today because my parents fostered silence. And in that silence, I found ways to reach out and connect.. through story, song, and picture. The blessing of the trees…

Sara Janssen
Walk Slowly Live Wildly
My Grandpa Otis lived just 15 minutes away for the bulk of my formative years and I will never forget the life lessons he taught me.

He taught me about hard work.

Grandpa would pick me up and take me to his beautiful garden, where he would teach me how to plant seeds, pick weeds, and water. I can almost feel the hot sun beating down as I type this. Someday… I will have a garden too.

He taught me about the value of family.

When I heard his big Cadillac horn honk as he pulled into our driveway, my heart lept with excitement. I loved it when he and Grandma showed up at our house…usually with treats in hand.

He taught me to take care of my belongings.

He liked to buy high quality items and then take very good care of them. He had a pen. He would let me use that very NICE pen… but would always remind me: “Bring it right back when you are done”. And when I did, he would put it right back into his shirt pocket.

I long to borrow his pen just one more time. To hear the horn. To plant the seeds. But there is a time for all things under heaven… and I know that someday that’s where I’ll see him again.

Bryn Basri
Minneapolis Maternity Concierge
My favorite memory of childhood is going to the cabin. The Cabin. Not ours, we were lucky enough to be invited every year by family friends to their small, old, secluded, not-so-fancy, way-far-away, perfect cabin.

There my sister and I would lay for hours on the dock or one of the porch beds and read Archie comics pulled from the 3 foot stacks that lined the walls. There were late night skinny dips and before sunrise fishing trips. There were good friends, family, food, sunshine, Twins games on the radio, and a rope swing into the lake. If we ever left the cabin it would be to get an ice cream, or go to a barn dance – or maybe even crash a wedding of some couple we didn’t know.

No one had a lot of money. The cabin was passed down through the friend’s family and was shared by his many brothers and sisters. There was still an outhouse, the interior walls of which were covered in ancient, funny postcards. We took trips to a nearby spring for drinking water. If there were nearby theme parks, water slides or golf courses we did not visit them. Did I say it was perfect? It was.

So now, we are turning the question on you:

What is your most cherished childhood memory?

Leave your answers in the comments, we can’t wait to read them! If you’d like to read past volumes of this interviews series, click here!

If you’d like to be involved:

Seven Souls One Musing is a interview series where I will be asking 7 people to reflect on 1 theme. If you’d like to be involved in the future, send your full name, website address & twitter handle (if you have one) to : kindovermatterblog(at)gmail(dot)com : I will not be replying but I will file your email to ask you to contribute in the future! Thank you!

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