Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just A Little Memory

I had a memory. Okay, stop giggling, it’s the best opening sentence I could think of.

Actually, it was a simple snapshot in time that wafts through my head on occasion. Let me set the scene for you: It was a very sunny, hot summer day. I was about ten, maybe eleven; I don’t remember exactly. Judging by my recollection of the heat, it must have been mid-afternoon and quite calm. I was breathing hard like I’d been playing and needed to rest. I was alone near the barn at my childhood home, the cotton farm where I grew up on the South Plains of Texas. I was sweaty and dirty; nothing extraordinary for a ten-year-old farm kid of ten (maybe eleven), right?

I was shoeless wearing a torn white t-shirt topping frayed blue jeans with both knees worn totally through. I backed up to the clothesline pole and slid down it to sit on hard packed grassless ground. Somewhere, off in the distance, I heard the drone of a prop-driven airliner (It was the early sixties, after all.) And, besides the incessant buzzing of pesky gnats in my ears, it was the only sound around.

Now, here’s the reason this memory, this much less than extraordinary moment comes back to me with increasing regularity as the years reel off; it happened to be the first time that it occurred to me that life was a one-way trip. As cozy and happy as I felt at that instant, I realized that that moment would soon pass and never return. Oh, there’d be thousands of other moments, but not that one. I’ve often wondered if a thought like that, at that age, made me an odd kid. Did it? Was I?

But, there was more to that moment than a single odd prepubescent philosophical mental meandering, because that thought led directly into another. One in which I became acutely aware how well I had it at the time. Oh sure, Dad would spank me black and blue on occasion and cuss a blue streak if I failed to do as I was told. Sailors had nothing on Texas cotton farmers when it came to salty language. There was even a time he made me sit at the dinner table and would not let me leave until I ate at least one Brussels sprout. I did, I puked, and then went outside to play. We weren’t impoverished, but we weren’t tripping over treasure chests either. Still, life was good and even then, as a carefree kid of ten, maybe eleven, it was at that exact moment that I realized just how good.

I have absolutely no memory of any other part of that day. But, the heat, the airplane drone, the gnats, the sunshine—everything about that minute of my life is indelibly printed in my consciousness.

I believe most people, me included, have had a moment, the paradigm, in which self-awareness sort of flies out of the cosmos and slaps us in the face. That’s also when we first discover our place in the world and begin developing a niche to fill. Sadly, I also believe there are some who live entire lifetimes never believing they have or deserve a place in the world.

As for me, it only took a rest period at playtime, circa 1960, maybe ’61, to know, to deeply believe that not only did I have a place in the world, it came with a road that I’d travel for a lifetime.

Have a wonderful day. Life is good.

Author of
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/mainstream/print & ebook
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/action-adventure/print & ebook
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/ historical drama/ ebook only
“Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX/print only
“Dancing Away”/ short story/romance/Untreed Reads/ebook only

“Phobia”/Booktrope/2012/suspense-thriller/print & ebook
“Helping Hand For Ethan/Rogue Phoenix Press/2012/young adult/ebook only
“Defining Family”/Whiskey Creek Press/2012/young adult/print & ebook
“Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”/ATTM Press/ July 2012/soft science fiction/print & ebook

“The Last Radiant Heart” (re-release)
“Hackberry Corners, Texas 1934”
“Life, Love, and Lubbock”

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