Winter school holidays by the sea. We have made a skeleton from modelling clay, drawn countless drawings, eaten a lot of raisin toast, played indoor hockey, searched for treasures on the sand dunes and yelped with excitement and fear at the rising tide. We're having a lovely time. This morning lolling about on the floor Otto asked, next time, can we drive into the city please? Last week boarding the train bound for Flinders Street the doors whipped closed on us. My wrists were caught in the door – the pram and Otto on board the train – me crying out in panic on the platform. Once safely on board, I tried reassuring Otto it was unlikely to ever happen again.
Then yesterday over a birthday yum cha conversation turned to our memories of child hood. My parents are very sentimental and like to ask us kids insessently about what we remember. What do you say? The most traumatic memories are the most vivid? But after sago custard and almond pudding, buttered up by a few benign anecdotes thanks to my father the softer memories pushed their way forward. It was nice to be reminded of them.
I hope Otto remembers the beach but he might only recall the train.
If anyone should ask, tell them mandarins.
Tell them eucalyptus sap that rubies on the bark.
Tell them snow crunch and grass burn
and skipping a hosewater rope.
If anyone should ask, tell them
bluebottles, cuttlefish, sea glass
and wild raspberries that charge
blood for fruit. Tell them
drunk on ten dollars and kissing the dawn.
If anyone should ask tell them
nothing, tell them nothing and the world.
Thats what I've got to show for it.
By Michelle Dicinoski from Electricity for Beginners published by Clouds of Magellan, 2011