Je Me Souviens

Motto of the Province of Québec.

I remember being young and free, playing outside in the warm summer afternoons, thinking that the day would never end. Back then, days that would never end were a good thing. The grass was green and the air was fresh. The freedom wasn’t obvious to me then, but now I look back with wonder. No one was waiting for me to do anything, no one’s precious time was wasted if I spent the day in the sandbox.

I remember the house we had then, with an enormous yard and a huge, spreading maple tree. The sandbox was underneath it, and we had a swing hanging from it, a swing in the shape of an airplane. I loved that swing. It’s still in my parents’ garage, someday I hope to get it out and hang it from a tree of my own. When I look for a house, assuming I can somehow ever afford to, it will have to have a big maple tree with a good branch.

I remember winters there, not the pathetic excuse for winter that Toronto has, but a real winter. A winter with regular road closures, with snowbanks piled 6 or 9 feet high at the roadside. (Word doesn’t know the word snowbank. How lame is that?) I remember having our own small mountain, where the snow from successive clearings of the driveway had been pushed. It was a jumbled mass of snow, more than twice my height. We had a small set of steps carved into the side and a toboggan run down the back. Whenever there was another snow, and the driveway got plowed, we’d have to rebuild our toboggan run, but it was always higher and better.

I remember the Bishop Hunt.