A Revisited Childhood
John. Age 13. Doylestown, PA

It’s autumn; Thanksgiving approaches. The trees lose mahogany leaves. Back in Ohio—back to my roots. The landscape is more tranquil than most places. Besides my surfboard, sun-stricken, sandy Florida origin, my childhood turf is the Buckeye State, Ohio. We pull in to the rural home.

The first thing I see is the house. A clean, serene white ranch house with a classic gray and white collage, flanked by pine and maple trees. I see Jason, my brother-in-law’s, silver trailer. Crawling underneath, something I wasn’t expecting emerges. A small kitten—sectioned with grey and black stripes—approaches me. As it ensnares my legs, I hear faint giggles of joy. I look at my sisters, and they have the same jovial expression on their face as me.

“Here we go…” I murmur, as I see two figures scurry towards us.

“John John! John John!” they scream as they propel themselves closer.

Instantly, a grin widens across my face, I recalled those ecstatic cries. My little niece and nephew. I’m engulfed by two little kids, bodies squirming, voices screeching. I fall to my knees, overcome with emotions of joy and empathy. Logan, who looks similar to me, likes to flail around and have as much fun as possible. Leah, who is more reserved, is creative and polite. All of us share the same brown eyes, hair, and tan. We go inside to settle into April—my thirty year old sister’s—home. We sit down and talk nonchalantly about miscellaneous things to catch up on the years lost. At last, Jason decides to rev up the ATVs, and before I can question him, Logan and Leah are already speeding away in their vehicles. They stop after a little while, and I get on. As we hurry with great momentum through the day, we stop as it starts to snow. The brief moment of flurries, the bliss of quiet and the white noise of engines revving in the background. All of the current pandemonium is stifled by the simplicity of the snow. Arms lifting, voice grunting, I pick up Logan, and bring his antsy little body indoors for some hot chocolate. I smile, and Leah trots behind me.

The night chases closer as we start to eat. I ponder the day, but there’s nothing that can delineate what I am thinking. Long day. Big day. Fun, celebration, rejoicing. Giggles, laughter. Running around all day, speeding in ATVs. I look at the pictures we take at dinner and realize that I’m not the center of the picture. I see that sometimes I need to see the bigger picture. All that I can do is enjoy the savory food.

It’s autumn. The bitterness of winter surreptitiously drawing closer. The wind is ravenous, the sky is dull. Back to Pennsylvania—back to home. I look back one last time at the ranch house with its white and gray color. I look back at my niece and nephew. We pull out of the rural home.

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