Yesterday my family and I found ourselves in a wooded area outside of Springdale, Newfoundland. We stopped to throw rocks into some inland freshwater ponds, trying our best to skip smooth stones across the surface of the water. We hiked to “Glassy Beach”, the best spot to collect treasure, especially smooth beach glass. We enjoyed the sunshine. Maybe the best part was discovering patches of wild blueberries. My 3-year-old nephew, Cate and I crouched down and ate handfuls of the warm berries.
I was immediately transported to my childhood. I spent many a summer day in Northern Ontario, either Sudbury- my mother’s hometown, or Killarney- the location of our family camp (we always called it the “camp”, not the “cottage”!), picking blueberries. We would take little buckets to fill, though I’m certain we ate twice as many as we actually took home.
I realize how important these memories are. I sometimes lament how many of my life experiences start to fade with time, though I know all of them have contributed to shaping who I am. Memories get triggered with a smell, or the fleeting sight of someone or something, or overhearing a person recall something I don’t, or in this case, the eruption of a sun-warmed blueberry in my mouth.
I long for Cate to one day remember what yesterday felt like. I keep imagining her as a mother, telling her child about how she practiced skipping stones; how the treasure found on a beach is priceless; how the best tasting berries are the ones you find growing quietly near the rocks.
As a child I was told the same things, and that is something I will never forget.