For Natalie

Mar 7, 2013 by

brrrr dalecoll dishes liamcolldishesMy cousin Natalie sent me a text from England the other day. She had suddenly been struck with a longing for simpler days, for days of childhood and being at the lake. From time to time, I feel this way too. From time to time, we all feel this way. Out of nowhere, I yearn for the days when we used to fight over who washed and who dried (because there was no dishwasher), and the biggest battle of the day was braving the ice cold water of a Northern Manitoba lake.

And I feel like that right now. There’s school and friendships and relationships and bills. There’s watching those you love grow old, grow sick. There’s the never ending progression towards who knows what, and all we can do is try to face it with as much grace and poise as possible. Every now and then there’s a break down. Every now and then, things just fall apart.

Every now and then, I just want to be a kid again. But if it ever happened that I could go back and be a kid, I would bloody well appreciate it.

On a night like this when everything is just much too much, when writing about it makes it a sprinkle better, all I’d like is to have all of my family together again in that cabin. The cabin that was too packed, too hot, too small, too full of mosquitoes… but also too full of love, too full of memories being made, too full of some of the happiest days of my life. Too full of innocence.

That’s all I want right now. It’s all I will ever want, intermittently throughout my life, for the rest of my life. But how lucky am I to have had that childhood?

I had that childhood: the childhood of riding in the back of a boat on a crystal clear lake, of eating Auntie Mur’s freshly made cinnamon buns, of sitting on the rock that was shaped like a couch, of catching frogs and dragonflies (and naming them Spot) and painting rocks and reading vintage comics from the 50s until 4:00 in the morning.

And I’ve heard it said that happiness is wanting what you have.

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4 Comments

  1. Yes, “From time to time, we all feel this way”.
    Looking at the last photo… you haven’t changed, Colleen!! 🙂

    • Colleen

      Thanks. I felt like such a Debbie Downer the night I wrote this…
      I love that picture of me. It always makes me smile.

  2. This made me so nostalgic but also so grateful to have had those experiences! Miss you so much. Especially, and oddly enough, missing when we’d share the upstairs room and you’d be cranky and mean and I’d be scared of the bulldogs, so neither of us would go swim.

    Though I am glad you left out the Itch. That is something that I NEVER want or need to relive.

    • Colleen

      Haha crankiest teenager…
      Hahaha I didn’t even think of the itch when I wrote this!!!

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