I have been thinking recently of my earliest memories, which brought me about to doing this blog relating to earliest memories.
I was born in late 1961 ( and yes I am not a spring chicken as it were) in a rural area on the county boundary between County Cork and County Limerick in the Republic of Ireland. Many of the stories of that time which often were told to my children were those passed on from my late mother.
But my earliest memory that stands out clear as it were just a few years ago was my first day at School. Having lived in a rural area up to this point there was not much interaction with other children . Thus attending a school for the very first time stands out so clear for a number of reasons. In rural areas such as this one a class room of children comprised of a couple of class groups. That in itself sent the numbers beyond that which I could count. It was a horribly terrifying situation that i suddenly ended up in, I recall entering this class room for the first time and being astounded at so many faces in the one place, all of which were staring at me. Such an event on its own scared me half to death.
I hated the whole school and education gimmick from the very first moment. It appeared to take me away from what I liked and what I wanted to do. Or at least this was the feeling it conveyed to me. This was where I had my very first realistic idea (or at least it was a first realistic idea to a 4 or 5 year old), I decided that I was out of there as soon as i could find that chance to run.
I remember that first time in a school yard where all the children were wild at play as it appeared to me. The windows of the school building appeared to be monstrous and appeared to give me that opportunity to formulate my escape. I decided that my best plan for action was to watch for the teachers / or adults to a young child who in turn had been inside the windows of the nearby class room. I watched for their backs to turn and ducked below the windows and ran for it as fast as my little legs could go.
Thinking back now, it was like a Child version of the great escape. I cannot explain how I came up with such an idea or when I decided that was the time to run. Only that it was then I appeared t formulate my very first plan of action. My first independent decision away from the family home and in an environment I did not wish to be in. I cannot even tell how I knew the direction it was for home, But I took that very direction and wandered along a stretch of road that to a child appeared to be at least 6 miles away, but in actual fact was a mere 1 mile or 1.5 miles at most. I recall most the steps I took on that road, the different sights that caused a stirring of my imagination , an amazement of the Creation that was all around me.
I recall the birds singing in the trees near by which I was amazed at and looked on in wonder at such a wondrous animal. Then the Cows in a nearby field that were carrying on with their business as normal. but still they caught my attention, the curiosity that awoken in me, in some ways continue today. Although and obviously a more educated and knowledgeable person not in the viewing as it were.
I arrived home just as the first couple of children passed on their way home from school. What my parents thought I never discovered, But I am certain I gave them more than one headache as I repeated the same action at every moment I could, for days and weeks I continued my routine of the great escape from a school I detested.
However my great escapes were coming to an end when my family moved into the nearby town and where became my home town and the place that holds a very special place in my heart. I remember the excitement of a new home and all that came with it. It was on one of such days wandering on my own in the front of my new family home that I sat to watch a family move in next door. I looked on in wonder at who these people were and what brings them to what I saw as My home..
One of the children from that family became my best friend and remains my oldest friend. I laugh today at my thoughts back then and the moments that started our friendship. But fun ends at some point or so I learned when School started back with my being introduced in a new school run by the Sisters of mercy a Catholic order. The Uniform as I saw it that the Nuns wore astounded me as well as scared me half to death (yet again I was scared half to death, how often for a young child could that happen..)
When time came for a visit the yard for some play time, My usual great escape ran into what I call today a Big Black wall, that was a Nun standing guard at the only exit form that compound. I can not remember ever escaping from school again and my adventures of wandering the roads were at an end or so it appeared.
I felt the urge to put this adventure as it were here if only for the sake of placing on record how I must have caused my family headaches back then as I know I did when I grew older. Many decisions I regret but it was those days wandering the roads that first sparked my curiosity on creation and my curiosity on God and what would eventually be where my Faith stands. I believe in creation as created by a True and living God. the wonders of that creation sparked a curiosity in a 4 or 5 years old kid, one that stands firm today.
Thank you for taking time to read this. I do hope that you enjoyed this, even if it was composed as it appeared from my memory. Until next time Stay Safe.