Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Recollections From Aunt Bea

Barbara Eleanor Anderson is no longer with us but she left countless recollections of holidays past and loves lost. She was nostalgic and sentimental and rarely remembered why her stories began. I recently visited London where I was allowed by the executor of her archives to leaf through millions of pages, some no longer legible. Some made me cry, others made me laugh. I don’t know what to make of the woman. I’d like to think she was a knockout in her day but those days are not commonly documented by photographs. Either way, not a letter I read made a bit of sense.

Winter Tales and Christmas Eve Eve

By Aunt Bea

I can remember the years of old, in the days of flowers and rock candy, at night when snowflakes sparkled and lamp posts shined under the light of the moon. I’d dance for a dime to see a movie or buy soda pop for a boy whom I loved, and played the songs of doves and dreamed of planets far away. I looked into an endless space illuminated by stars, not the kind in movies or television, but the kind at night in space and beyond. And Mother. It was always a boy Mother warned me of, with their short hair and Adam’s apples, she’d say, “Sneeze them away with all God has given you.” I’d come crying like a child, as I was as I remember, placing a hand above my head she’d then pat me like a doggy and I’d cry more, until she began to yell and curse at me and call me worthless and fruitless and throw things around the room injuring the real dog and braking glasses because they were made of glass. I ran and ran and ran away finally and moved in with a family who only yelled at me when I overflowed the toilet and they let me stay in a bedroom with a window and a bed and access to the bathroom in the middle of the night. “Find your inner self,” my new mother would whisper in my ear, pushing my hair away from my face and kissing me as though she loved me. “Before you are happy, you must look within yourself and find what it is about yourself that is truly and entirely from you.” Then I’d say, “Please continue mother, with me guiding me to salvation and beyond this world.” New mother didn’t like when I spoke with such fruitful and delicious detail and sophisticated tone. “For instance,” she said with her lips and her mouth moving with the sounds of letters and syllables. “When you find your true self, you will be happy with what you are. But as long as you think you want to be something else or look like somebody else, you won’t find happiness because, you will never be anybody but yourself.” New mother found a new family years or so in the future relating to that story which I have recalled from my youth many long years ago. Now with the leaves turning a solstice rust and the nights becoming cooler in temperature as though nothing can stop the time that goes by in our lives and in other’s lives. Until next time when I recall and remember something from a long time ago, be well, take care, and live healthy. Peace. God. Love.

Barbara Eleanor Anderson

Bloomsbury, London

December 9th, 1978

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