Wednesday, March 14, 2012

GrowingUp: Clunk

You know how a song, or a smell or a sound can bring us instantly into another time and place? Not just remembering it, but really feeling it. Being there again? There are deep emotions tied to such little things. I recently read a little bit of a book that mentioned this. Specifically the slam of our childhood home's screen door. How that sound can take us back instantly to our childhood. The problem? I lived in about 12 different homes by the time I was 18, and not one of them had to my recollection, a screen door. My house now does. Two of them. And the sound of the closing of the back door is unmistakable. This narrative is about that sound, and thinking of the sound brought tears to my eyes and a tightness to my chest.

When the back screen door is released usually by tiny hands running from the kitchen to the backyard, there is first the noticeable squeak of metal on metal followed by the click of the lock striking the metal plate on the jamb, followed by the final "chunk" as the door handle jumps back into place and the door hits the frame. The only background noise is the quiet squealing hiss of the hydraulic hinges.

The sound is really the sound of my children growing up. Old enough now to freely let themselves in and out of the yard to play. A job that was once mine alone. It is the sound of the relationships they are forming with each other. Relationships that will carry them into adulthood and old age, long after I am gone. It is the sound of the contentment of a mother's heart; of soft summer days; of open windows and lilac breezes and the shrill, fantastic screams of children at play. It is the familiar clang of the chains of a swing and of sticky skin on a plastic slide, followed by the snap of static electricity as the child reaches the bottom, gravel flying in all directions. This is the sound of my screen door closing.

What does yours sound like?

Quote of the Day: "The essence of childhood of course, is play, which my friends and I did endlessly on streets that we reluctantly shared with traffic."--Bill Cosby

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I do have memories of a screen door from my grandmothers farm house.

    More recent sounds, I don't love this one, yet...But my daughter is always dancing in her bedroom and her floor is right above the living room. I am sure I will miss this as she gets older and moves out.