Once, when I was quite young, I learned how to twirl a baton. I can remember very clearly the feeling of marching in a parade, twirling my pretty baton and being oh, so careful not to drop it. I don’t remember how I came to choose baton lessons, but one drawing point may have been that I was alone in my family, then, at least, giving twirling a try. (I remember myself as being the only one, but I hear a nagging little voice saying that one of my sisters was also twirling.) Anyway, I felt special when I had my baton, and I was very proud of the couple of slightly more difficult moves I learned to do.
Funny, but even now, forty-three years later, I remember some of those tricks, and whenever I get my hands on something of a similar shape and weight to my pretty baton, I catch myself twirling once again.
This is one of those happy memories which so often feel as though they were missing in my life. I was quite proud of my accomplishment, and I made sure I practiced hard and perfected those couple of moves. Funny, again, but I thought I was the coolest kid, with my ability to make that baton twirl in my hands. This was an act of joy, which I valued at the time, but which I now value so much more: The happy memories, the feeling of pride in mastering a tough skill, that sensation of being the keenest kid in the parade. This is a memory I will hold close from now on.