The Sculpting of a Childhood

Indulging in reminiscence. Taking a trip down memory lane. Being oh so nostalgic. Casting my mind back upon memories preciously stored in my memory bank. We all get those days. Those days where we are captured in a state of daydreaming; something I am particularly good at.

I picture ones childhood starting off as a bland piece of lifeless, grey clay. Day by day and experience by experience the moulding process begins. There are many sculptors, each changing this piece of clay in their own way. Some have smooth hands and some have rough ones, each leaving a different mark behind. Colours, where to begin? Some creations are monotone, while some are the most vivid, striking and radiant ones ever seen. Most importantly, each masterpiece is unique and ever-changing; here are a few of the artists and experiences of my magnificent childhood that I cherish.

Growing up in Zimbabwe is something that I will always feel grateful and privileged for. Now I know that from an outsider, this could seem strange. Zimbabwe is a place depicted by poverty, desolation, corruption, struggles and tension but this is a snippet of my wonderous childhood that I wouldn’t change for the world.

  • “Oh Baby, do you know what that’s worth? Oh heaven is a place on earth…” Songs like these filled out ears and our hearts on the long drives out to the farm after school on Fridays. If only we had cherished these moments as much back then as we do now.
  • Arriving to my surprise 5th birthday party only to see that not only did elephants have my name painted on their bums but we would be riding them!! What undeniable excitement for a little ‘tomboy’.
  • I still chuckle at this.I dont know what was worse; being wheat and dairy intolerant or having to have water in my cereal as soya/almond milk hadn’t reached the shelves yet.
  • Cartoons and Disney was restricted in our household, instead, “you must watch Animal Planet or play outside” which, we had the utmost pleasure doing after the rains. Making mud cakes was a specialty, constantly in competition about who could make the best one.
  • Every little girl has a Barbie or two. I was no exception to this, however I took it to the next level. I found great satisfaction in pretending to be a hairdresser and shampooing and cutting their hair. Shame, poor Barbies.
  • Going to Granny’s house became the next best thing to do after being very bored one day and learning to be resourceful; finding buckets and brooms to arrange into jumps in the garden and endlessly running around pretending to be a horse…
  • “Daddy, I know what I want for Christmas and my birthday!!” “I want you to give up smoking (said with the biggest smile)” You can’t beat the innocence of a child, even if I say so myself.
  • It took me a while to understand that I was sometimes the annoying little sister. Often, it was suggested to play hide and seek; the version where I would hide for ages, very proud of my new hiding place, only to find out that my older sister and her friends had moved onto the ‘cooler’ game.
  • Absolutely fearless, that certainly has changed. I would jump at any opportunity to see and hold snakes. Many hours were spent at snake parks, having a python draped around my neck and an even bigger smile spread across my face.

At the end of each day, my feet were dirty, my hair was messy and my were eyes sparkling. These may seem like insignificant moments but that’s what it is about; thousands of small insignificant moments, each moulding your clay masterpiece in their own way. These are some of the cherished memories that brought a warmth to my heart today. What are yours?

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