So it’s December again and the annual circle that has been in my brain since I was about three is swinging back up to its greatest heights. It’s kind of like a ferris wheel except it is more elliptical than circular.
As a small child, I used to tick off the year something like this: My birthday, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and then we go to the CABIN! After going to the cabin, I don’t remember picking the whole thing up again. It all stopped about there even though there were certainly fun things that happened in the rest of the months, like 4th of July (*at* the cabin) and Halloween and Thanksgiving and, uh, Christmas.
My memories go pretty far back although some of the early ones are pretty vague, like reaching for the bird mobile above my crib, which was in my parents’ bedroom upstairs in our shabby little Superior Street bungalow. Did I reach with my feet or hands. That I don’t remember. But I do kind of remember that room too…
I do remember lying down in the back of an old black early 1950s Ford automotive vee-hickle, listening to the susurration of the pine trees as we drove the final leg of our journey to the moomincabin. I am sure I can remember hearing that sound for the first time when I was five months old I know I was that young because I was lying down, no car seats in those days.
I think my brain kind of stopped at the point of going to the cabin because going to the cabin was just about the best thing we did all year although I’m not sure it trumped [sorry] Christmas. But my beloved grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins were at the cabin. Fun and laughter abounded and we would sit around the faaaar in the Old Cabin at night and us little kids would get put to bed behind curtains in that room. I still remember going to sleep behind those curtains with my cousins while the older generations talked quietly in front of the fire. Sooo nice.
And rules were relaxed. Well, some rules were relaxed. Every Fin child knows that WE DO NOT THROW SAND! That rule was not very kindly enforced and with good reason. Rules about water and boat safety were kindly but FIRMLY enforced. No parent wants to have to pick their lifeless child’s body up out of the water. Or anyone else for that matter. Nowadays, whenever I hear about a child drowning (and there were a lot of drownings in the Great Lake State last summer) I am horrified at how little people understand about the power of water. Lake Michigan? Without a lifeguard? On a choppy day? Really? Alas. I sound judgmental but I am really just sad and wondering how we can educate people about water.
Good night and love you all,