As though she thinks maybe I can’t see her… I’m reminded of a childhood memory, one of my earliest. Our family traveled through the Smoky Mountains on our way to visit my father’s parents in west Tennessee. It was the only time I met my paternal grandfather and I don’t remember that, I was barely more than two. I’ve seen pictures of me by the pigpen at Unc’s farm so I think that I remember that but I’m not sure. What I know I remember is this:
It’s a dim memory, but once was brighter. My brothers and I are playing Hide and Seek in the woods. I’ve hidden all that I’m aware of, my head and shoulders, behind a big stump in some bushes. Robin, who is not It and is four years older and far wiser, creeps up beside me and whispers, Remember, Rita, just because you can’t see us doesn’t mean we can’t see you. You have to hide all of you. All of you! It is my first awareness of all of me, a radical comprehension. It is the first kindness I recall from anyone in particular. I’m grateful for this memory of Hide and Seek, and the other early memories I retain. I don’t think of them often, but I appreciate the perspective when I do.