We sat on the grass, four young girls, conspiring, gathered together, our treasures laid out on the ground. My favourite, a film canister, filled until the point where we had to tape on the lid, the seeds we gathered excitedly from the seed heads bursting from the top. Our parents would complain as we spread the seeds everywhere, yellow poppies appear all over year after year, marking our summers of freedom, my first lesson in gardening – how quickly seeds can spread.
We recorded cassette tapes of our voices and laughter, silly stories now unknown, some photos of us and our families, some notes, some plastic trinkets that meant something to each of us; their meaning now long gone.
We searched for containers each time, ice cream tubs and cereal boxes. We picked a location, a hidden spot in the garden, or up at the old sandstone school, now long since demolished. We dug in the dirt, conspiring and impatient for the future when we would rediscover our memories buried in the dirt, they were always buried for us to rediscover; their location - top secret. They were our time capsules and they entertained us summer after summer.
The memories remain somewhere in the mud, they need to be burrowed for, to be washed out, recycled. Did we ever really bury them in the mud? Perhaps they were tucked under a bed somewhere and forgotten; perhaps we buried then and they were discovered by a gardener or an enthusiastic dog. Perhaps one of us dug them up and that time returned for a brief period.
The hot summer days and yellow flowers still appear occasionally, but never as warm as they once were, never as clear as they once were. They’re still there just a little more muddy each time around.