Memories – A Haibun

The Līgo Haībun Challenge is a weekly challenge where you choose something to create a post from. Whether it is fiction, a poem or something dear to you. It is a two-part post that is one part as I have just mentioned and the second part is where you finish with a haiku style poem. Each week, there is either two photos to choose one of; two quotes to choose one of; or two words to choose one of. This week it is two photos – “Two swings in the snow” by Ye Pirate, and “A view of grass from below” by Penny. I have chosen the swings. This brought back a memory of when I was a child of nine or ten. Every time it snowed enough, we grabbed cardboard boxes, old blankets, bread crates, anything that could be sat on and ran for one of the steepest hills. There is a photo of the hill at the bottom.

© Ye Pirate

© Ye Pirate

The snow fell as tiny flakes. Each unique, each telling a story of its own, each with its own arms attempting to grab hold of the one falling by its side. I grabbed the cardboard box and I ran to catch up with my friends. To our small legs, it seemed a long way to walk or run, but with the snow, we knew the walk ended in joy and fun.

Running up the road always hurt the chest. Always made the legs ache. Always made the eyes water as the road led up a steep incline. At the top, the road led down and through a tunnel. We ran screaming through, shrieking, and our sounds reverberating off four walls.

Emerging from the tunnel and the hardest part of the journey now lay ahead of us in the form of a steep hill. Running from side to side, making our way up so we did not use all of our strength in one go, but each wanting to be the first.

The top of the hill felt like a playground to us, with the cardboard being our swings, the breadbaskets our seesaws. The far side beckoned us children. The youngest – eight years old, the eldest – thirteen. Then the yelling as we ran and leapt onto our chosen sleds, hurtling down the side of the hill faster than we had ever travelled before.

children in winter
speeding down hills in the snow
then climbing to repeat 

Sugarloaf Hill Folkestone UK

Sugarloaf Hill

43 thoughts on “Memories – A Haibun

  1. Alastair, your haibun is simply outstanding! The very best haibun you’ve written. I love it. Your descriptive words convey such full meaning to the experience, and your haiku is excellent,so extremely well done, my friend! 🙂

  2. so well written, Al, your childhood memory became a reality in this moment. oh the energy and fearlessness of our youth. i don’t know how i missed reading this haibun earlier but anyway, congratulations!!

    • Thank you Sun. Congratulations are in order for you as well 🙂

      We used to sprint down that hill as well. Run so fast that our legs gave out and we ended up rolling down. It’s impossible now. Where roads have been built around the area, fences have been erected.

  3. Pingback: Līgo Haibun Challenge – Word Prompt | Ese' s Voice

  4. Very touching nostalgic, almost therapeutic moments in this fine haibun. Really nice reading, and I particularly liked the ‘circular’ aspect of the haiku. Very well done.

  5. I remember enjoying the snow for play back in the day. I still do. But – it’s just not the same.
    Now I get cold easily – even when bundled up. I need to find some good gloves & boots that keep my toes warm.
    Whoa – on that hill! Sledding down the side must have been quite an adventure!

    • Thank you for always coming by Rosy, I seriously appreciate it.

      I get cold easily too. It’s annoying. From the tootsies to the fingertips. It gets frezzed too easily.

      Sledding down that hill, running down it, rolling down it .. all used to be great fun.

  6. It’s very beautiful, your story, Alastair! Soon to come deep snow. In my country, just snowed mountains at altitudes above 2,000 meters.
    I think it’s fascinating to sled down the hill on which you posed.
    I live in a hilly area when we were kids, we climb to the top of the hill and descend steeper sled or skis. The joy of our souls was infinite!
    Have a wonderful evening, Alastair. 🙂

    • It is great going down like that. A couple of years ago, my kids went on a sled near here and they loved it. My sister had a photo of me going down on one as well.

    • Ours wasn’t often. We were lucky as kids that young to live so close to a hill. When we moved, there were no decent hills close by

  7. That is one heck of a hill not only to climb but it must have been scary to slide down too – hope your earlier pains are subsiding Alastair – loved the fork photo very creative 🙂

    • Thanks Caren. The sudden drop in temperature always gives me problems.

      Whenever I went past that hill on a bus after becoming an adult, I looked at it and could not believe that not only did we go down it on sleds etc, but we also used sprint down that steep side. Over the other side, it is not so steep, and shorter, but still quite difficult.

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