Charming yellows, soothing greens, smart reds, earthy brown, pale purple, hazy blue, icy silver – gorgeous, glamorous, picture perfect, every year. I watch the twenty seventh spring of my life, this time, a little early. I, Scarlet Wadsworth, let myself loose as the wind pulls me, swirls and rolls me down the memory lane.
When did I smell the hint of my first spring on earth? It was when Sally, my caretaker took me down the slopes near my home, and I caught the sweet scent of spring and received the first shower of dew. Then on, I have come a long way, may be far, far away from the novelty of a new born.
Isn’t it fascinating? The way we all grow up; so many changes manifesting themselves in our physical form and the nature of our being. That, what once seemed meaningful and perfectly valid becomes the ground stone of absurdity; that innocence, turns to be a paradigm so distant, and next to impossible, that we struggle to realign our focus to what we once were?
Pouring over a cup of hot chocolate, landing up with sticky fingers, sticky lips, standing in those long twirling lines in the school, waiting for a chance – to pick up a library book or to get your notebook signed, or maybe for a drill, or may be just to render a prayer with due reverence and hear boring speeches with undue disrespect. Memories – how they rustle like the falling leaves of autumn!
And what about those merry go rounds with Agnes Anderson, Hilda Osborne, Rachel Larson and Matilda Merryweather during school days at Southampton? Would I care to do that today? Come on, I just can’t afford to make a fool of myself, Can I? That’s what I think - openly. Secretly though, I wish I could call all of them to my guest room sometime and do it all over again!
Deals used to be struck those days. Rachel and I would exchange our pencils and pencil cases. Hilda would let me have her doll for a week’s time and I would give her my (much eyed) kitchen set, but mind you, only for a week. Deals often led to complaints, teaming up and pesky fights. And those were followed by courageous reconciliations, ironically through deals struck again, only different ones this time.
As children, I think we asked interesting questions, enthusiastically pondered for answers and surprised elders, out of pure naiveté. Momma, how did I come into this world? May be Momma said, from me. And then she would have gone on to say, God made you and sent you to this world, through me.
“Really, But, where did God come from?”
Today, I have changed, in so many ways. I have grown up. Yes, I have. I no longer let out a shrill cry of joy at the look of a box of toffees. I don’t sink my teeth into a pastry, unmindful of cream smeared all around my mouth and falling onto my dress. I don’t fascinate wearing all those jazzy pink ribbons and laced hair clips that I had once held with so much adoration. I live, carefully treading along the boundaries defined by the society, the world, people. I no longer ask the right questions. Even if I did, I don’t bother to struggle enough to get answers.
I bother. Oh hell, yes, I do. I care for what others would think of me. I care for not messing up.
Time changes one or one changes with Time. May be you realize that or you don’t. Years back I was a kid who ran back home after I lost something as small as my school badge or snapped up my watch strap accidentally, out of fear and agony. Today, I can’t even think of doing all that again.
What’s all that? A part of the package called ‘growing up’?