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'Atminas' by Rhys John Stubbs
“When I was young I used to worry that I would eventually forget precious memories. I still have the little bag I stuffed with keepsakes from my trip to Disney World, complete with my hand scribbled notes about what we did each day. By now my eldest daughter is three years old and I’m watching her from the kitchen window as she climbs to the top of the apple tree all by herself. I’m resisting the instinct to run out and help her down, even though I know she doesn’t need me, and I’m transported back to an unassuming moment many years ago at my family’s summerhouse in Latvia. My cousin and I were about to cycle to the ramshackle hut down by the river to buy ice cream as evening approached on another glorious day. From somewhere in the garden we heard a voice yell “Pagaid!”. We waited, as instructed, and my auntie’s head poked over the top of the hedge. “Where are you going?” She asked. “To the river”, we answered in unison. There was a long pause before her thoughtful reply: “Well... come back to me”. We laughed as we rode off down the bumpy track; we were only travelling a stone’s throw away and we’d be gone for no time at all. And yet, now I stand gazing out the window, I can see that all too soon my children will have outgrown this. The words “come back to me” will be ringing in my ears the day I look out and see that apple tree standing empty. The songs I write have become my new keepsakes, complete with these scribbled notes. I will always hold on tightly to my memories (atmiņas in Latvian). I hope they never stop transporting me back to precious moments.”
Released 12th March 2021.
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