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Revisiting the Mountain

A childhood locale reveals the strange nature of memory.

By J. Otis HaasPublished 2 months ago 1 min read
Revisiting the Mountain
Photo by Alexander Gilbertson on Unsplash

In my memory, the hill in the park where we rode sleds as children is a Himalayan slalom. I’d peer over the cliff in fear before launching myself along the icy track to be rocketed down what we called “The Mountain” at ludicrous speeds that, even then, felt reckless. Catching air over the jumps we made sent us soaring so high we’d swear we were above the treetops. There was euphoria in that weightless moment at the apogee, a fleeting sense of breathless wonder that seems elusive in adulthood, one of those joys that you’ve forgotten you’ve forgotten until something brings it all rushing back.

During a holiday visit to my parents, I awaken to find a blanket of snow on the ground and locate my old sled in the garage. Arriving at The Mountain with my twins, I am shocked at how small it is. I recall how slogging to the top with my sled felt like ascending The Matterhorn, but what I see now is just a slightly steep hillside. The children already there are sliding quickly to the bottom, but not at the greased lightning speeds I remember. With the slightest apprehension my child begins to descend, and as they shoot over the jump, catching a foot or so of air, I feel some small pity, knowing that back in my day we could fly. I feel betrayed, but am not sure by what, until I hear the shriek of joy and it all comes rushing back.


About the Creator

J. Otis Haas

Space Case

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Comments (2)

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  • Kenny Penn2 months ago

    This is so good! Amazing how what we remember doesn’t seem to match up with reality

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Oh, this is great! And, it shows how those HUGE “things” when we were little were all a matter of perspective, right? 😉

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