On our drive to the post office today and on many other days, I have noticed downtown people 'just sitting on their front steps' watching. I considered the idea that I do not notice this in upper-scale neighbourhoods. I also see people hanging around outside stores just chattering, smoking, and shooting the shit - the same people. Sitting on the front steps and hanging around downtown feels like a small town way to encounter people, visit with others or 'bum for smokes.' A way to understand your community.
I recall roaming past the front door inside my childhood house on Elm Street and glimpsing at my parents' back sitting on the front step outside. It was a pastime for them that I did not comprehend. Sometimes I sat outside too or played on the steel bar at the top of the step that was part of the railing.
My brothers, I, and the kids in the neighbourhood liked to flip over the rail. My brother used to do it with such ease. He made it look so effortless. 'Get up on the bar, tuck your head under, and flip your body around.' he would say it like it was second nature. A somersault of sorts. As per usual, I was scared. I was nervous as a kid, and still as an adult, regarding certain things. I would try over and over and dangle there with the steel-rusted bar pushing on my stomach, frightened to flip over. When I finally did it - I felt so accomplished! What foolish things to remember.
Now, as I think back and reflect, my parents most likely valued just sitting and watching the people drive or walk by. They smoked and chatted with walkers for long periods of time sometimes. If I remember correctly, it was a familiar pattern after supper or later evenings. Maybe it was a way to spend little bits of time together; perhaps they were nosy, or most reasonable, they just needed a break from us kids. My mom would wave at people she knew walking by, and imparticular, I remember her speaking about 'the guy that looked like the guy from the show Fame.' Funny memories.
Now, I sit on my swing in the front of my lawn and think about the past. I observe the trees
and birds and listen to the cars and people passing by. I cannot 'see' them due to our fence, but I relish the moment. The thinking moment.
Maybe 'sitting on the front step' on Elm Street were thinking moments for my parents. Thinking about memories keeps our loved ones alive. Thinking may help us understand our past and figure out our future and understand the now.
I treasure recollection.
I cherish the simple times.
Memories are how we live on until no one is alive to remember.