If I close my eyes, I can almost feel the cold, smooth blades of grass under my bare feet, smell the Earth of the neighbor’s freshly mowed lawn, and hear my mother’s voice in the distance. I can nearly taste the savory aftermath of a grilled hamburger enjoyed out on the deck and I can almost hear Van Morrison or Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes playing in the background through the late evening’s mellow breeze. The nostalgia is so intense that I feel like I can walk out the front door of my apartment into the past, a simpler time, a lifetime ago.
It’s nights like tonight that remind me of the pond, of the abundant, sweet-tasting honeysuckle on my tongue, the bunch of various duck species lapping in the shallow waters and that pleasant scent of fresh, springtime air. I inhale deeply, instantly transported back to a time when walking the half mile up the paved road without sidewalks, four slices of Wonder bread, in tow, to feed the ducks and watching the colorful Kansas sun set over the tops of the towering oak trees and through their vibrant green leaves was one of my favorite pastimes. Simply watching the mundane, uneventful life of water foul did wonders for my young in age, but old soul. I knew that when I slowly sauntered back home admiring the old homes of the neighborhood I grew up in, peering like an innocent voyeur through their floor to ceiling or bay windows, my mama would be there, perhaps even my auntie, the both of them excitedly conversing in the back room.
I remember wanting so badly to grow up, to be one of the big kids, often hanging around my mama and auntie rather than playing with my younger cousins. When adults would tell me that I would change my mind one day and be wishing for the opposite, wishing to be a child again, I would defiantly, stubbornly contradict their “theories.” I wonder if they, too, had smelled the springtime air of their simpler histories.