There's a place hallowed in my memory, a little church where the best times of my youth were spent.
The images of a hundred faces fill my mind when I think of this room. All the calm afternoons that I spent there, talking, reading, singing. It brings me a comfort that few other things do, to think about myself, as a child, growing here amid forgotten feelings. In these memories are held the beginning of my spiritual life, the most treasured of moments with friends, and the happiness that I carry with me, every day of my life. It's the place where I was baptized, where I formed my ideas about society and relationships, and had so much fun that I couldn't bear to go to bed.
The early morning walks beside the creek, through the woods to see if my friends were awake yet. The morning meals, washing dishes after a cup of hot tea. Watching videos in the afternoon as the sunlight drifted quietly through the windows. The loud clang of the bell, and the pull of the rope as it settled back into its resting place. The excitement of going down the driveway, wondering who has arrived. A seclusion long looked for, an unworldliness. Late night card games. Crochet on the lawn. A thousand things make up the patchwork of my memory, special days in the sacred time of my childhood.
Mostly I remember the sense of peace, and the laughter of my friends.