Childhood #1

When I lived in Ohio a tree fell down in our back yard during a thunderstorm. When the season had passed my dad went out with a chainsaw and cut it up.
The spring came and he hosed out the shed, like we always do. Spring cleaning. The water would run down the garden path in small eddies and flows and leaves would river raft their reckless trail across the stones.
When the leaves would get caught, my sister and I would begin a chant of “Need more water! Need more water!”. It would sound like a klaxon–our voices shrill and harmonious.
We started supplying the veins of river blood by filling buckets from the pressurized hose that sprayed that clensing blade of its slashing purifying life that left the shed’s eggshell paint sparkling clean.
The blade licked our heels, calves, shins–playful. A cleansing in its own rite.
We graduated from a single bucket to several–trundled across the walking stones in our sturdy flying wagon of Tesla waves to create the current that moved our leaves into a desert of concrete, the hardened frosting of our whipped cream dessert outdoor playland.
When the leaves stopped moving and lay motionless in a puddle of the lifeblood of exertion we used the same black white and red vehicle to move the wood from the fallen tree.
From near the stump my father cut a crisscrossed bark covered ham–a log that weighed more than I. We took it to California.
It was burned on the new year four years later. The occasion was that the move was complete, from the land of chest rumbling thunderstorms to the captured lands of dead men who sold their souls for gold. The occasion was that we were all happy here now.
7 years later my mom told me she didn’t think I’d been happy since I was 8.
I wasn’t happy then, in the wake of the move, or then during the consummation of the log’s conflagration. I watched the happiness burn in that smoldering ham all the time thinking I didn’t have a say…
But now I do. Now I get to say I’m happy. Because I’ve found my love and I’ve found my art. I still remember the past, but my future, now, is as new as my childhood was then…