That Thursday Feeling

Do you ever have a feeling that is connected to a moment in time, a scent, a texture, or a song? Take a breath and allow yourself to slip into one of those best feelings; the one that brings out your smile, and makes your heart swell. What was it? How can you return to that light, and love when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

My mind travels back to an April Thursday sometime in the early to mid-eighties. Spring arrived that day amidst a holiday that blanketed my neighbourhood. The park across the street begged to be filled with children’s laughter, and play. I remember begging my father to let me fill the void, but he was hesitant; it was an observable holiday, what would people say if I was out running around? For a man who created his own method of following rules, at that point in our lives, he still cared about the impression we made on others.

That Thursday was special though. There was something about the way the grass turned from pale topaz into emeralds with a simple gust of wind. As if they sensed the swings loneliness, tulips bloomed into guards in the sunlight. There was something about the way the air smelled carrying the flavours of many holiday meals. That day was unique in ways that no one could resist.

I sat by the window longing to dance in the breeze when suddenly, as if carried out by the spirit we all opened the door for during our meal the night before, families began pouring into the streets. My parents nodded, and relented as my brother and I bolted down the stairs to join in the fun. Even my parents, who often sat upstairs on the balcony to “supervise” from a distance joined in.

In the minutes just past noon, rules, and appearances were shelved as children, and adults employed the park to its capacity.

I remember hopping onto “Purple Grape,” my trusty hand-me-down bike that had become more of a limb than a toy. I was fearless that day! The giant painted cement “mountain” in the middle of the playground was mine to conquer! My body knew it like a second skin; after all, how many layers of my knees, and elbows had I left upon it while running down laughing, and screaming? This time, I was going to do what all the “big kids” bragged about…I was going down on WHEELS!!!

I remember that day; my mother, and father smiling a they greeted neighbours, and friends old, young, new, and familiar. I remember the sound of children playing and the hint of guilt, and confusion that crept in because I knew that day was special, yet still rule-bound.

Most of all, I remember the sunlight. Every now and then, I get this sense of standing on the corner, one that we rarely congregated on, and feeling connected to the sun, the air, and the light.

Sometimes now, forty years later, I get that “Thursday Feeling.” It makes me smile. It tastes like grape popsicles, and my mother’s special Passover rolls. It feels like childhood, and peace.

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