I remember your rough, work-worn hands as they pull me tight into a hug as if squeezing all your love into me.
I remember you sewing a red dressing gown into a Teletubby costume in the warmth of a car before I left on the train, wondering if you could just come with me too.
I remember smashing rocks, one on another, breaking them apart with the hope of discovering treasure within.
I remember the feel of wet grass beneath flip-flopped feet as I tripped out of an unzipped tent into the day.
I remember the tears, the cries of ‘I can’t, as I abseiled form a bridge, as I swam the width of the pool, as I climbed down the church steps, as I taught a lesson, as I spoke into a microphone. Doubt and fear ever there as I did those things that scared me all the same.
I remember burning my fingers in Chemistry class. You stood behind me, reminding me of the power of oxygen.
I remember the satisfying crunch of fresh snow, as yet undisturbed by any other feet.
I remember the joy in our faces as we located in our campsite for the night. In the morning, a box of fresh pastries shared on the shore.
I remember your first day at work, us recording a video, you willingly popping up from behind a chair to say hello. I remember what it was to have fun.
I remember the sting of the bee as I sat on her for story time.
I remember shouting at you for bullying my brother, pennies saved up scattering the ground.
I remember cheeks turning to ice, walking through the dark night and Christmas lights.
I remember laughing until my stomach and face ached, balloons up my top in the early hours of the morning, when we should have been packing for Barcelona.
I remember the dinner we had as you talked of your wedding and your bridesmaids, knowing something had shifted in our friendship, irreversible for reasons unknown except the passage of time.
I remember fluffy white bread with thick layers of butter and golden syrup.
This writing is a result of today’s 64 million artists January challenge, posed by the wondrous Lemn Sissay. I sat in my armchair, closed my eyes, and then wrote whatever memory came to mind. I’m certain on another day, at another time, different memories would have risen to the surface. I was comforted by each of them. I chose the wildcard challenge so today I got three activity choices and I felt inspired to complete more than one of them. Here’s my response to Jess Thom’s ‘A conversation with…‘ challenge.