Today I was applying for a job online and part of the process involved writing a 500-word essay about our happiest memory from childhood. Now, I’m entering my fiftieth year on this planet and trying to conjure up a childhood memory these days isn’t as easy as it once was. In any case, I was a good sport and I attempted to put together something nice for the sake of the application. I thought what I came up with was kind of nice, so I figured I would share it here:
My happiest memory is of a much simpler time. Today, our kids think they’re being clever by beating a video game, but in my day we had “real” adventures! When I was about six years old, I would play outside in my yard until dark. Even if it was raining, I would be outside enjoying the smells and sounds of just being out in nature. I used to make tiny boats out of the big maple leaves and float them in the puddles that formed on the sidewalk. To me, there was nothing more entertaining than imagining the tiny captain of this leafy ship taking the journey of a lifetime in a makeshift ocean.
I would move the “boats” from puddle to puddle, sometimes even setting them on a treacherous course down the gutter to see if they could survive the rushing water. My captains must have worried so much! I do wonder if they managed to hold on during the storms. I wondered then if they ever got struck by lightning while they bravely battled the storms.
There were also plenty of adventures on land. I built forts for my little army men from sticks and tree bark. I didn’t take my Barbie dolls outside. This time was just for my little plastic troops. We had a massive grapevine arrangement at one side of our house and I used to pretend it was a mighty jungle. The troops would hike through the tangled vines, searching for a way out. Eventually, they would reach the helicopter pad aka our driveway, and they would run to freedom. Did I mention that I was a bit of a strange gal?
I didn’t always play on a miniature scale. Sometimes I was the adventurer, crawling through the yard and making my way through the tangle of grapevines. And when I was safe on the castle balcony aka the front porch, I would proudly stand victorious drinking a syrupy sweet drink from a plastic, barrel-shaped juice container.
There were even a few times when my cousins and I would visit a field across from our street to try and find tiny frogs. After the rain, there were puddles everywhere and tadpoles were all over the place. I was afraid of them at the time, but I don’t recall my fears ever holding me back from a good catch.
Today, I hardly have time to step outside and I avoid playing in the rain. Whatever happened to that girl? The one who launched a fleet of green ships across the sidewalk puddles of New Carlisle? That girl is long gone, but these memories fuel so many stories. There will probably never be a sweeter time in my life, but I can always relive the fun that I had as I share a memory or a story with friends or family. As life unfolds, we sometimes allow our fears to take the place of the very things that used to bring us joy. If you can, go play in a puddle today. It will do your heart good.
This was the story I came up with and sadly, by the time I had it ready to cut and paste into the application, the page had disappeared from my phone. I did not get to apply for the job, but I did get to relive a few nice moments from my past. That’s probably better than the job would have been, so I think I came out of it okay.
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at email@example.com.
My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.