The Best Things in Life Are Free
I was born into a family who struggled financially. My biological father, who I basically consider a sperm donor, left before I was three. When my mother went to work it was my maternal grandmother who watched me. My mother was much older than her siblings. They were closer to my age so they felt more like a brother and sister for the early part of my childhood.
Though we didn’t have money, a good friend of my grandmother’s would let us use her cottage in the summers. I have many vague but fond memories of this area. More misty disjointed images and feelings than anything but certain sounds, fabric patterns, scents and scenes can bring back the familiar warmth of this time.
I also remember well the sparrow’s chatter as I sat on the old iron spiral stairs off the back porch of my grandmother’s apartment. I think of the community we lived in, where I spent my youngest childhood days, as a ghetto of Montreal. When you’re a child though, you don’t know you’re poor. Life is what it is. My memories are of family, my grandmother’s love, the sounds of the birds and the smells of the earth in the yards. It was all beautiful.
My mother started dating the man who would eventually come to adopt me. He’s the one I consider my true father. He worked at his families business and had a ‘healthy income’. 😉 Living with him afforded us to experience life from a different perspective. I had new step-siblings now who visited every other weekend and went on vacations with us. I got to travel more and see other places. We had a house built in a newly developed suburb in a lovely area. We ate more expensive food and cuts of meat. I had more clothes. We rented big cottages for winter and summer weekends and eventually, we even had a beautiful country house built on a private island. The house had more modern amenities that our suburban home.
As I mentioned in my last post, I had an idyllic childhood.
About two years after my younger twin siblings were born into the family, and to the surprise of everyone, my parents separated and life as I knew it changed forever. I was about 12 soon to be 13 and the hormonal teen years were kicking in right about the same time. These were to be my ‘wild child’ days of a different sort. Again, for some other time. 😉 Such a tease, I know. LOL
The point, at the end of this little Diana history, that I’m trying to make here is, my best memories had nothing to do with how much money we had, directly. My fondest memories are of the loving connections between family and friends and of nature in her various forms.
I had an amazing best friend and a wide circle of other friends, I had an aunt and uncle who were more like siblings. I had a grandmother, grandfather, mother and father who all loved me dearly. I had step-siblings and the twins, who all enriched my childhood tremendously. And I had a beautiful connection to nature, whether it was listening to sparrows in the ghetto or hiking through the woods in the Laurentians.
These are not things afforded only to the rich.
Relationships of love and joy and nature’s beauty and bounty don’t cost a penny. My greatest memories are not made up of things. They are rich in experiences with loved ones and nature.
Mother Nature doesn’t reserve her gifts for the rich. They are free for us all. Open your heart and eyes to the endless gifts around you. Think about your best memories. Did they really have anything to do with money?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my home at present and it has a financial cost. I hope John and I can live here for many years to come. She and the land here have become a big part of me and my creative expressions. I love my life with John and many of the things we do cost money. I appreciate to no end that John has a stable income at the moment as I do not. He is my rock and my support in more ways than one.
My heart would break if we lost it all tomorrow. But I know, as long as I still had John and our family, Kiara, Ally and Nunu, we would be fine. We would still have each other and our friends and families, we’d still live in nature somewhere, and we’d still find joy and happiness with less ‘stuff’.
The best things in life truly are free.
Share some of your best memories from childhood or beyond. Write them below in the comments or on FaceBook. I’d love to read about them.