Memories pressed between the pages of my mind - Lost Manly Shop

Memories pressed between the pages of my mind

 On a recent visit to the Northern Beaches, I mustered up the courage to knock on the door of my childhood home, in North Manly, curious to see how it had fared over the years, but nobody was home.  So I snuck in a few cheeky pics, to savour my childhood memories.  Not much had changed and yet everything had. The footpath that lead from the little letterbox, to the semi-enclosed front porch, where I would bash out a song and dance on most days after school, is now cracked and worn, though the footprints on my childhood were as shiny and bright as they ever were, and I could still feel the rush of jumping across the entrance gap, like Nadia Comaneci scoring a perfect 10 in the 1976 Olympics.

The old garage door down the cracked and buckled driveway had seen better days, though it once served as the perfect canvas for handball, hide and seek or table tennis inside the garage. Instantly, I could see mum's gorgeous chiffon, royal blue strapless gown, the one she wore the night she met my father at the annual footy ball in 1958 Sydney, now strewn across the garage floor to stop the rain coming in, thanks to my brothers playing in their table-tennis championships. Oh Lord, my mother was beside herself when she saw it, but the boys thought nothing of it. I too was shattered as it was my favourite dress up gown of mum's, which was lovingly kept in a linen pillowcase.  

The fragrant Camellia bush outside my bedroom window is now a fully grown, established tree, planted in the 1960s when the house was built, saved from the scourge of the developers knife, it still has the most luscious shiny leaves and fragrant, heady scent of Camellia, that wafted its way inside my bedroom windon, on many a hot, summer's night.  

The side of the house, where we used to sneak a cheeky smoke after school, has now been fenced up, so I could only peer through the cracks, remembering those moments locked in time, thinking we were clever enough to light up a smoke underneath the open lounge room window, walk inside, and mum not be the wiser? How childish indeed!  

When I had seen all that this fortified temple allowed me to see, I dragged myself away, with an intense longing in my heart to want to stay. It was so hard to walk away as each footstep forward was distancing me from my past, from those tender childhood memories that are mine and mine alone, that can never be taken from me, whether I own that home or not. I had to hold back the tears as my longing to return was so palpable. Elvis said it best in his beautiful song, Memories:

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind

Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Quiet thought come floating down

And settle softly to the ground

Like golden autumn leaves

around my feet

I touched them and they burst apart

with sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets

And twilight trimmed in purple haze

And laughing eyes and simple ways

And quiet nights and gentle days with you.


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