Friday, September 11, 2009

Word of the Week: Begin

I was born in the Fall, and so I feel the year begins not on a snowy January day, but on an orange-green September morning.

As a child, the new beginning was marked by the smell of new shoe leather and the pain of the blisters that scraped my heels on the walk to school.

It was in the smell of new wooden pencils

and the feel of chalky pink erasers,and the itch of new school clothes against my skin.


It was in the getting used to the status of our new grade, our new teacher, and each other

...and noticing how we'd all grown and changed over the summer, and who was missing, and who was new.

In high school, my walk every day was more than a mile long, and the streets were planted with eucalyptus trees. Their fragrant leaves dropped early and crunched under my feet.

Even today when I smell eucalyptus, I am transported back to being a teenager. It's early morning, cool and crisp, and I'm on my way to school.

I'm crunching eucalyptus under my feet, and admiring the changing colors in everyone's yards. The morning light is orange, too.

The soundtrack is something by The Cars: Bye Bye Love, or Best Friend's Girl, or Let the Good Times Roll -- whatever I'd heard playing on the radio as I'd dressed for school that morning.
I'm metamorphosing from child to adult, and even as I play at it, I'm about to begin, but I don't know it yet.

How little I know of the beginnings to come!

For more reflections on the word of the week, Begin, visit these amazing artists on their blogs today; I truly do not belong in this distinguished company -- go visit!:


13 comments :

Caroline said...

Absolutely delightful, Laurie! I really enjoyed your trip down memory lane - lovely photos and evocative writing! I remember the blisters too! Best part of going back to school was buying the stationery supplies - pencils, erasers, sharpeners, paper - still love those stores!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

My dear Laurie, you definitely belong in this group! This is an exquisite piece and you might think about submitting it elsewhere just for the experience and fun of doing that. I felt every crunch of every leaf and smelled the pencils as I looked around the room for returning students and those who did not. Wonderful!

Anairam said...

I loved your look into the past, Laurie. I find it quite weird to look back at my own beginnings - kind of sad for that thin knock-kneed little girl who never quite fit in. But I wouldn't want to have begun differently, I think. It shaped me and made me into what I am today, and I quite like me!

Linda Sue said...

Laurie- that was FUN! The eraser hit the mark with me- I first learned to cheat at math with one of those- my friend would write the answers on the eraser, I would ask to borrow it, and then rub my thumb over it when the teacher was near. That was second grade and I continued to cheat at math my entire life. I am SO clever! LOVED this post , Dear Laurie. Wonder what "end" would look like....Thanks for the great word this week!

Veja cecilia said...

oh what a nice post!

Christine said...

Well said! Other than the eucalyptus, you described my school days. Well, I'll have to admit I didn't listen to the Cars. I'm a bit older than that!

Blessings,
Christine

nathalie et cetera said...

what a wonderful trip down memory lane! blister and the smell of freshly sharpen pencils and the cars! let the good times roll...

Beth Leintz said...

I hadn't thought about the smell of fall in a long time- when I was growing up, it was the smell of burning leaves- we didn't bag the leaves and recycle, we burned them. It's a sweet memory of a nip in the air and the evenings starting earlier- thanks for the reminder.

barb cabot said...

This is completely charming and wonderful...the evolution of a beautiful soul. I loved reading every bit of it...your life! Thank for taking us on a trip down memory lane...your memory lane. Love it.

The Fab Miss B said...

You've just made me a tinsy bit sad that I'll be missing fall in the land of endless summer. Great post!

Micki said...

I enjoyed all the wonderful memories...It was a great post.
Micki

Angela Catirina & Bonnie said...

It's always a fun little getaway to visit your blog! Thanks for inviting me over.

Lydia said...

Great post- love the pictures also, ... the vintage ones especially:)