Friday, April 25, 2014

A Ride Down Memory Lane


Written By: Fatima Haroon

Sunday afternoon, during a rather windy day, walked a middle-aged woman down the pathway,
carrying with her what seems to weigh more than a hundred pounds inside her head. Her woolly cashmere coat, her thick leather boots, an opened letter from a loved one,  and her stupendous umbrella that she carried with her  just in case of a drizzle, seemed to weigh no more than an atom for her.

Hearing the heavens roaring, she tried to increase her pace by taking longer steps with her two-inch heels, but the much awaited drizzle prevented her from doing so. Therefore, she unstrapped her stupendous umbrella, which served her well for a few minutes, until the heavens unleashed umbrella-carrying winds upon that part of the city. Given the fact that her house was still a mile away, she clenched onto her feathery hat, safely placed the envelope she has been carrying in her hand into a deep pocket of her coat,  and tried to find a shade to sit out the storm in. The heavens then soon roared a thunder in an east direction that caused her to lay eyes on a secluded bench, under an old oak tree.

Thanking Mother Nature for that sign half-heartedly, she made her way to the bench and flung her buttocks down, shivering and wondering why on earth no one ever came up with the idea of making water-proof cashmere coats.

Observing the pattern of the storm, she suspected that it was not going to be a short one, making her wonder why had such a disaster stricken on such a pleasant and unexpected day as this.

After an hour or so, a leash was put on the intensity of the rain, which would have been enough for her to make it to the nearest motel, but for some odd reason, her eyes grew weary as ever, her head swinging down after every thirty seconds, forcing her to decipher that the heavens had just played a lullaby to her.

Without giving it a second thought, she tossed her partially wet cashmere coat around her shoulders, pressed her back against her the bench planks, and fell into somewhat a dreamy slumber that gave her a ride down memory lane.

1991, born to the woman she now calls ‘mother,’ she came into the world, thinking of it nothing more than a cradle and occasionally, a big diaper. From learning how to stand to learning how to ride her first bicycle,’ the reality of life seemed a stranger to her. No worries, no fears, expect what potentially crawls under her bed at night time. It was not until the first day of school that she learnt that the world had rules about learning, behaving, and socializing with others.

From pigtails to disapproving colored hair, she lived it all, going through all the ups and downs a teenager faces, including the big decision about deciding whether to stay put or to leave the nest and soar on your own. She, being the intelligent and tactical young lady she was, decided it be best to take a look at life from another window. So, it was only until spring came, that the flowers kissed her farewell as she made her way to Sarah Lawrence, located about four cities away from her hometown.

Oh, how serious life had grown, having all those frivolous childhood years locked and stored in a distant part of her memory. The entire world seemed a challenge she was ready to take on.

For the next four years, the burning night lamp, a cup of hot tea, and the average dual volume book on ‘The American Jurisprudence’ on an occasionally windy night seemed to define her life. It was not long before she walked down the very stairs of Sara Lawrence for the last time, wearing her graduation cap and gown, firmly holding the much-awaited diploma in her hands, having experienced the role of a student. 

From running down her apartment stairs every morning for a job interview, to come home late at night after a long day at the office, she had landed a satisfying job for herself and experienced the role of a working  woman.

A few years later, she met the love of her life and decided to tie the knot likewise. From walking down the aisle wearing her mother’s white wedding gown to holding her first born, wrapped so delicately in a similar soft white sheet, she experienced the roles of a wife and a mother.

Ten years from then, dawned on her the news of her husband’s life-taking car accident, where she wept in her black velvet dress, having experienced the role of a widow.

It was not long until her only child decided to move away to Chicago for further studies. The only reuniting her princess and she had was once every three to four years, which eventually came to a halt when she got married to a man who lived in Cyprus, having experienced the eternal hand-drifting departure of her child.

It was just a year after that that she went to the mail-office to receive an important letter from her daughter about her becoming a grandmother, initiating the launch of yet another role in her life. It was after receiving that letter that she made her way along home, but to her surprise a thunderstorm took place along the way, which caused her to fall into somewhat a dreamy slumber that gave her a ride down memory lane.

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