LinkYourLife Challenge Day 6: A false memory

This is one of my first memories. I’m really not sure why I remember this in particular, but you asked me for my first memory, and here it is. I am four years old. I am running in the wheat fields, with the sun shining on the golden stems and in my eyes. My older sister, who is nine, is not to far behind, but she’s not really invested in the chase. Eventually she just sort of stops participating altogether and plops herself in a cozy spot on the ground, as I continue to dawdle. I am still close enough to home so that nor I nor my mother feel worried about the distance between us. I experience this visceral sense of freedom, of unadulterated joy that stems from just that: running at home. Running. Running, far enough from home so that at four years, I experience independent and rebellious energy framed by the warm security of circling around a familiar place. Home still exercises its gentle pull on me. Feeling adventurous, I take a slight left, turning a little away from my trajectory so far, a bit off to the side. I arrive at the goat’s paddock and watch as the kids stumble awkwardly around, not quite steady on their feet yet. I am intrigued by their little nobs, where horns will eventually grow, and I watch, fascinated. I am mostly alone with these animals, which I am so used to visiting, while accompanying my parents on their daily farm chores. At some point, one goat gets agitated and comes nearer to the fence while staring and beeeeh-ing in my direction. All of a sudden I am frightened. I feel dragged back to the reality of my distance from my mother, I feel afraid that I am alone in the world, and that no one will be here to comfort and care for me if I am hurt. In a panic, I run back crying to my mother. As soon as she enters in to sight my heart beats even out, my cries turn into sighs and all is forgotten as I go ask to be picked up onto her knees and she obliges. I remembered this as an older child of about 8 while in the middle of a solo playing session-my sister was busy with friends and snubbing me. I’ve never forgotten the field-running, goat incident since. Also, this never happened.

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