moments in time
forever etched in our hearts and mind, every fibre of our being
One of my earliest personal memories, wishes you might say, was to have a special dress woven by spiders with glistening dew drops throughout. I was filled with awe at the beauty of the early morning visions of these webs. I was 100% sure that this would get me in with the fairies. Because I just knew that they wore such dresses.
I'm not sure that I equated spiders properly with the dress, though. For we would go to Mum's parent's farm and market garden (now it's Birkdale in Auckland), and we had to do the most terrifying thing there. We were all very young and impressionable. The toilet was an outhouse. So scary. Big spiders on the walls waiting to grab us. I was terrified that I would fall through the seat hole into that scary bottomless pit. Wait - that's not a magical memory! Moving on......
But we did have some special gatherings at Nanna's. Outside in the sun, family everywhere, for in New Zealand during those years, many people had quite a few children. The house was an old villa, yes old even then, and almost completely empty. I was fascinated by it.
We had family get togethers at my other Nanna's too. Quite different. Lots of family still, but very different. Nanna would give birthday parties, for say, all the February grandchildren, or the children born in two months, like October and November. And then there was Christmas. Nanna had such a strong sense of family and inclusion. She always made me feel as though it was fine to be me, and that I mattered. One winter's afternoon, Dad took us there, and to our surprise there were two unusual old people waiting to meet us, smiling and happy to see us: Nanna's parents. My first remembered experience of meeting someone new, and yet knowing that I was part of them.
And this is such a big part of Maori culture of our country: we are part of our ancestors. Their experiences can be carried on through us. And of course, modern science has started to realise this.
The thing about grandparents, is that somehow, through them, we have this magical experience of belonging, and being part of this extended family whole. Very special indeed.
My two Nannas were so different, yet quite similar. Both kind, hard working, gentle and soft spoken. Both very fiercely family orientated. My memories of them both, are so magical indeed.
I know that I am quite different from my grandchildren's other grandmothers. As it should be. Each grandparent has something unique for a child. I have a new grandchild whom I've not seen much of, due to the Lockdown. Each time she has met a new family member - she just knows them!! I love the way that babies do that. Smarter than adults on a deep level. I so wish that we kept that smartness throughout our life.
What about you? Any magical memories? I had a big list for this post but when I got to Nannas, well, who could go past them?