I had an idyllic childhood, but as a kid, I didn’t know it. As the matter of fact I was convinced that the spaceship had left me in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong family.
Only now, years later, do I realize how fortunate I was to be born into a family who loved and nurtured me to the best of their ability during my formative years. My father was a preacher and passed on his strict religious beliefs in sermons and around the kitchen table. So there were many things we weren’t allowed to do. No television. No cussing, no dancing (unless it was in the spirit), to name a few.
But we were encouraged to read, to write, to sing, to play a musical instrument (my mother played piano), and to spend play time in the big outdoors. Cowboys and Indians with my brothers and sisters, along the slopes of a wash located near our house was a favorite pastime. Our elaborate forts were built to last forever, or until the next flash flood suddenly washed them away.
My dog, Brownie, a brown-and-white-spotted dalmatian with bad breath, was my constant companion. He’d follow me deep into the desert, exploring nooks and crannies, as we made our way to the top of a large, flat, always hot rock—our secret spot. We would sit for hours watching magic happen. From our high perch, we surveyed the groves of barrel cacti and watched cars wind their way up the road past Sabina Canyon, to Mount Lemon. We watched rocks grow and cactus flowers bloom and die. Communicating with nature, I felt at one with everything around me. I watched, listened, and dreamed, as I patiently waited on the spaceship to return. My imagination went wild and a voice within encouraged me to dream on.
That was my childhood. Idyllic for a creative soul. My first short story, about my dog Brownie and his bad liver breath was imagined and developed on that hot rock. It won first place in a school competition when I was in the fourth grade. And a voice within encouraged me to write on. So I do.
Looking back, was your childhood idyllic to get you where you are today? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts right here in my comment section.
4 Replies to “An Idyllic Childhood”
Mark, Thanks for sharing your thoughts of childhood and family. Your comment reminded me of a quote from my all time favorite book, “Illusions” by Richard Bach.
“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.
You seek problems because you need their gifts.”
Ah, lovely book. Haven’t read it for ages, but liked it. Far more than his more popularized “Seagull”, in fact.
I’ve always been inspired by your spaceship comment. Don’t think I thought such otherworldy things until I had I had a run-in with barbiturates at age 13 (I think; afterwards I always mentioned them as allergies per Mom’s advice, always provoking some rather suspicious reactions; who knows what I was given – or why). The walls of my bedroom were melting, and scary critters were crawling through. Cool as fuck, when you think about it, though a bit off-putting at the time. Which I guess is understandable if you haven’t watched UFOs and growing rocks in the Arizona desert as a child.
Your mom was one smart cookie. Never mentioned allergies to me.