Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Travel on a Time Machine

      I was ambling down an aisle displaying toys in a local store, looking for a present for a four year old friend. Suddenly, my eyes landed on a package of jacks, in a ziplock bag. They were made of hard plastic and they were of different colors. The bag also contained a small ball.

     As if I were traveling on a time machine, I was onthe floor of a cabin in the Adirondack Mountains. It was one of the cabins of a girls summer camp on Schroon Lake. I was one of six eight year olds playing jacks. I could feel the rough texture of the floorboards tickling my bare legs, spread out so that the jacks are close to my body. These jacks are metal and not colored.

     I could see the white shine of the shirts worn by my cabinmates as they sat in a circle around me, transfixed by my raised hand holding the ball. Some of their names flashed through my mind, the way a long forgotten melody sometimes appears. I could even see beyond the circle of girls, the narrow cots, the unadorned windows, framing the lush foliage of a summer day in the woods.

     That eight year old girl didnt know or even think about the woman she was to become or the life she was to lead. But the woman she became has a special image of her in her memory and it only takes a package of jacks or some other trigger to bring her back to life for a bright, shining moment.

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