At the conference I just attended in Idaho, Eric Rohmann talked about childhood memories. When it was my turn, I also talked a bit about memory, as I frequently do, in talking about The Giver.  I ended up, after I came home, thinking a lot about the same topic---and that led me to archives in my computer, and a couple of pictures that my daughter did when she was studying art.  (Actually, she still studies art, but these pictures date from some time ago.)  I don't know what -- if any -- the assignment was. But she did a drawing and then a painting of the view from her childhood window. So she was looking back, in her memory, probably 30 years.

The first one, a pencil sketch, is realistic in a folk-arty sort of way; her bedroom window overlooked a driveway that ended in a garage/barn.  This was in Maine, so there was snow on the ground for many months of the year, as there is in her sketch.


The second one is a painting of the same scene at night. The light that you can see over the garage door is the sketch is on, in the painting, and glowing through snow. I love this painting; it's so evocative.

Nightime window copy

And both of them set me thinking about the view from my own childhood window---in my case, the home of my grandparents, where I lived for a while during WWII when my father was overseas.  Interestingly, my daughter's two remembered scenes are both in winter.  Mine is spring. There was a tall magnolia tree outside of my childhood bedroom and when in my memory I look out, it is those lush pinkish-white blossoms that I see.

Surely my daughter looked through that window in summer?  Surely I looked through mine in winter?  Why, I wonder, when we call upon a memory, does it lock onto a particular time?