I met Caroline in our first year at an all-girls grammar school, and we spent as much time as we could together. She lived a bus ride away in a bungalow, the first one I’d ever come across, which her parents had expanded upwards into the roof, where Caroline had her bedroom.
It was a busy house; Caroline was the oldest and the only girl of four children, with the twins being the youngest. They had a chihuahua called Dandy, lots of other pets like cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, a chipmunk, and terrapins, which I had never seen before.
I spent as much time as I could at their house, had sleepovers there, taught the twins to sing ‘The Baby Tree’ by Jefferson Starship, and ate corn on the cob with melted butter, salt and pepper for the first time. We are still friends all these years later.
long, hot, dusty days
watching terrapins’ ripples
corn between my teeth
Kim M. Russell, 1st March 2021
Lill is our host for this Monday’s Haibun, with a memory prompt. She tells us about a day-long silent retreat she attended at a monastery, during which time she went back to her earliest memories – not triggered by photographs or family lore. She wanted to see what she could remember that did not appear in a photo, in the pages of her baby book or in tales she had heard. She started by sketching the layout of the house she remembered living in. One thing led to another and she started to remember all sorts of things that happened in that house in a notebook she still has.
For this prompt, Lill asks us, before we write our haibun, to get a few pieces of blank paper, have pen in hand, close our eyes for a minute and go back as far as we can in time to our first memories not triggered by a photograph or by family lore. She wants us to really do the exercise, remembering and jotting down, and then pick one memory and write about it in a haibun.