By Andréas Ruth B. Deolinda
Those merry-go-rounds aren’t quite the same anymore, are they? The pretty porcelain horses, musical melodies, little rascals on their tippy-toes dancing in excitement, the screams, the ice cream stains, the scorching heat — the joys of family parks. This all sounds great but…I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been on a merry-go-round, but I have been to theme parks, and yeah, they’re pretty great!
I recall one Summer’s day we went to one of the biggest attractions in my city — there was a man-made ocean, slides, beautiful scenery, families strolling along, beautiful fit men in wet shorts, and all the yummy snacks to feed my sweet-tooth. I don’t know much of the events of that day but I do recall the thrill of new scenery, the anticipation, the little moments that brought my siblings and me together.
It all feels like a distant memory; intangible yet palpable. To think all this time has passed and although images fade, the emotive memory of the moment feels tangible. Perhaps, like the memory-go-round, it is a figment of my imagination but I am almost certain of its occurrence. Not because it was a beautiful day or I can paint the little glimpses of this day through a mirage but because of its purity.
A once upon time story so to say — when for that day only, we were whole; we were family. We laughed, we walked till our bare feet burned from the heat of the pavement, when we stood by that statue and all smiled, when even in my youth I felt (though brief) that we were not broken; we were happy. I hold onto the blurry memories at heart and an A6 picture to confirm I am not crazy, it did happen.
This is a letter to a young girl who almost stopped believing that happiness was possible, that nothing is born of pain or loneliness. This is a letter for the young child who never got a chance to ride the merry-go-round and chose to paint it for herself. This is a letter to the grown child who thinks the worst of the world because the not so pretty side outshines the beauty.
So you ask about my favorite memory, I wouldn’t know what to say. I believe the greatest moments aren’t those you recall but those that made you feel good. The resilience you developed out of moments that had no sense but pushed past it. The stories you tell yourself to never go down the rabbit hole and draw beauty from pain.
But, If I could hold on to one memory, it would be that once upon a time, I felt love, witnessed the love, and rose from the concrete in spite of hurt and pain. I became my own merry-go-round.