My Mother came home a few weeks ago with the announcement that St. Mary's and St. John's schools were combining and would be renamed Pope John Paul II School. And that opened the floodgates of memories for me about my school days at St. Mary's.
- Middletown to Soon House Regional Catholic Elementary School
Memories unique to each season. Memories that remain with me still.
Memories of Christmastime and lighting the advent candle on the advent wreath.
Memories of the Stations of the Cross on Friday afternoons during Lent. (Seemed interminable then. Glad I had the grounding in the Way of the Cross now.)
Memories of all the Friday afternoons throughout the year spent learning the hymns in Liturgical Singing. (Seemed insufferable then. Now realize what a rare and wonderful treat that was, having the opportunity to learn all the hymns one will ever come across in this lifetime.)
Memories of going to the field on Hotchkiss Street in springtime mornings when the grass was still wet with dew. Playing baseball and kickball and playing on the swings there. The simple pleasures of childhood.
Memories of all the processions we took part in. May being Mary's month. Lining up outside the church and being given gladiolas to form an arch with. Promptly using them as weapons, basically bashing one another over the head with them. So irreverant. Yet so much fun. Nothing beat a good sword fight with a gladiola.
All the processions. Sunrise service at Easter. The tiaras we wore pinned to our heads. British Royalty had nothing on us. We had the tiaras. We were the royalty. No one ever felt more important than we did during one of those myriad processions. No one.
And then there was this: daydreaming out the window watching the cars go over the Portland Bridge. Such a lovely vantage point to watch the world whirl by.
Yes, I am a big believer in that some things never ever leave you. To this day I think it is verboten to end a sentence with a preposition and am still sought out to proofread other people's writing. And yes, I did end - and do end - quite a few sentences these days with prepostions. But it is a conscious decision. One made to emphasize a point. (Thank you, Sr. Noel.) A childhood spent diagramming sentences leaves one with a good handle on the English language. A dying art form, really.
When I think of my childhood school days, I think of the Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town" as it is so wistful for a time that we will not see again. I hope you find it as lovely and soothing and bucolic as I do.
All the best on this late winter afternoon,