one of tonight's exercises was to think of a childhood memory, and write a short piece of creative nonfiction... this is one of my most vivid early memories.
|- photo by jeremiah ro on flickr - used under creative commons license -|
even though our bedtime had long passed, the sky was still alive with a golden dusk. grandpa took our glowsticks in his hands and snapped them to life, shaking them until the neon hit both ends, and tied them loosely around our necks. our feet danced atop the brilliant green backyard grass. it was flawless and freshly-cut, and the only thing in that regina evening that was cool. we were surrounded by our parents and grandparents and great grandparents and the ancient trees that towered over sussex crescent, and ice clinked in glasses between my favourite voices that always, always, always talked about the weather, the heat, the 'humudity'.
when the colours above us melted from gold into grey, we tilted our heads back to watch fireworks converge from the corners of the sky. we waited for them to finish, like listening for the last kernels of corn to pop over a campfire - they slowed to irregular intervals, punctuating an increasing silence and a deepening black sky. finally, we meandered up that narrow staircase into the spare room, the one on the top floor, with a colourful quilt on an ancient bed. we were asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow, my sister and i, with the windows wide open, trying in vain to cool down that sweltering upstairs air.
the next morning i awoke to find that the glowstick had been removed from my neck and placed on the set of drawers next to the bed. my great grandpa had extracted it with his gentle hands when he came to tuck us under a sheet, on his way to join my great grandmother in their room down the hall.