Wednesday, September 5, 2012
You know when you hear a particular song or smell cinnamon wrapped in vanilla and suddenly, you're not where you are, but instead you are 3,000 miles away, nestled tightly in a memory?
It amazes me how senses transport you to another time, to a place you can almost touch, feel. It becomes: now. Not: before. Our mind plays tricks on us...
I saw my mom in Yangon last week.
I thought I did, anyway. For just a split fraction of a second. I swore I saw her driving her green Volvo down Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, in the fast rain. I jerked my head around, my eyes widened like I was a child given a rainbow lollipop. A small gasp escaped and I felt my heart speed towards the lump in my throat. "MOM!" I wanted to yell, excitedly. My hand twitched, about to wave.
We've driven past each other many times. Her returning home from work. Me leaving her house on the way back home to mine, just over a mile away. Wave. Nod. Smile. Hand signal: call me!
It was a man in that green Volvo, though. The first Volvo I had seen in Myanmar. The exact color, the exact model of my mom's car. Exactly. He was taking another man somewhere. The passenger looked out the window, into the rain. It wasn't my mom.
Of course it wasn't her.
Mom's fishing on a boat off the British Columbia coast. She's pulling shrimp out of the ocean. Bleaching seashells. Taking walks on Namu. She's not in Yangon.
God, I wished it was her. That she was here. Or I was there.
Missing her ran me over.
Part of me can't shake it. I look for that green Volvo on the way to school, on the way to a cafe. Whenever we drive.
I know it won't be her.
Yet, somewhere, my memory connects her - this car - that car - Yangon - home - to me.
And I feel a bit closer to mom.
Does that ever happen to you? When was the last time one of your senses played a trick on you? What memory did you have?