Nostalgia

I love nostalgic things. Music can be particularly nostalgic for me. Whenever I hear AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long, for instance, I instantly think of my high school dances. They always played that song.

Certain smells — a perfume someone wore, mud and worms after a good rain, lilacs in Spring — these things always take me back to the past.

I love writing about things that are nostalgic to me, too. My latest book is set in the 1980’s (for part of the story), and I had fun describing hairspray-encrusted bangs, acid washed jeans with just the right amount of fraying, and safety-pinning jean pant legs to give them a tapered look. Remember that? (If you’re under 25 or 30, you probably won’t have a clue what I’m talking about.)

We all have things that are nostalgic to us. For me, the 1980’s are the most nostalgic. Every time I hear a 1980’s song, I wistfully remember being a kid. Though, as a kid, I was often thinking about what it would be like to be a grown-up!

 

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Remember when you were a kid…

I went for a walk along the reservoir in Calgary the other day, and I passed a young girl and her father. Dad was sitting on a bench, and his daughter (probably age three) was crouched in the dirt next to him, playing in the mud. About 30 minutes later, I passed them again. The girl was still playing in the mud, and was noticeably dirtier. Her Dad was still on the bench, watching her with a look that said, “When will you get tired of this and we can go home?”

I remember playing in the mud as a young kid. I used to spend hours in the backyard, collecting worms and snails. Funny, I can’t stand getting dirt under my nails now. I don’t even particularly like gardening….

It is amazing the things we find fascinating as children. Seeing my own young son and how enthralled he is with the simplest things – a nail clipper, a scrap piece of paper, a Tupperware container – makes me look at things with fresh eyes. Sometimes. For a fleeting moment.