Memory is a Funny Thing

Scientists tell us

sixty percent of adult memories

come from the time between 15 and 25 years.

The “reminiscence bump” stores

early adolescence and young adulthood

to revisit on cold winter nights

or with the familiar scent of the first spring rain.

What of the other 40% of memory?

The sweeping snowy owl

flying low past our car on a long ago night;

paddling the quiet waterways of the Pine Barrens

in a dark green canoe;

badminton at a sparkling fourth of July picnic;

or an Easter egg hunt on a plush green expanse.

Snatches of memory from early childhood

bubble up unannounced,

bright and vivid —

as if fighting to remain.

7 thoughts on “Memory is a Funny Thing

  1. This verse is beautiful, and I particularly love this part:
    Snatches of memory from early childhood

    bubble up unannounced,

    bright and vivid —

    as if fighting to remain.

    I seem to have more childhood memories than those of early adulthood.


  2. Orval Jewett says:

    Thank you for this trip down memory lane. For me, I remember too many things from the past in vivid detail. I’m grateful for what you had to write because it certainly makes sense. It seems to me that my most vivid memories are from my past – not from what happened yesterday or two weeks ago, interestingly enough. Such powerful imagery. I can vividly remember doing or seeing some of the same things you mentioned in my own life – 10, 20, 30+ years ago. Thanks again for this excellent post.


  3. Beautiful. The topic of your slice is fantastic. What of the other 40? What’s in there? So cool to think about that…I love your imagery and of course being a Jersey girl, the Pine Barrens!
    Bravo for a treat of a read 🙂


  4. I like the combination of NF statisitics at the beginning and your list of childhood memories refutung the facts and as you state so well at the end:
    bubble up unannounced, / bright and vivid — / as if fighting to remain.


  5. Leah McFarlane says:

    Pure beauty. I am so enjoying your slices in verse. As for the 40%, I feel grateful for slices of life like this that preserve any memories that are tempted to drift.


  6. Enjoyed the descriptiveness of your slice and the info about memories and some choice lines like the ‘sweeping snowy owl’ and ‘sparkling fourth of July picnic’. Lots of ideas and memories for a future slice, thanks for sharing


  7. Wow, like Sally, I love how you added the stat at the beginning and still took us on a literary trip. I will use this as a mentor text, I often am inspired by so much information but don’t know how to craft it as well as you. I loved your last stanza.


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