When you have suffered through decades of cruely and abuse, each day can drag miserably and you'll do anything to remember when you were once happy.
As I walk through the pristine forests near our home, it is easy now to recall the few happy memories that I painstakingly clung to, which saw me through the darkest years of my existence. Pausing momentarily beside my favourite tree, before climbing straight up to the highest brances, I settle back comfortably against the large trunk as the memories come flooding back.
I am maybe five years old and the air is so thick and hot it is uncomfortalbe to breathe, but I don't let it bother me.... I am safely tucked away out of sight and the glare of the baking sun in the middle of our small orchard, surrounded by the shade of the cherry, olive and almond trees that grow here.
With the cool grass beneath me, I have my favourite dress on, it has woven blue flowers that my madre stitched on for me herself. I thought it was the prettiest dress in the whole world, my brown curls are bouncing around my face and I cannot stop giggling each time Bonita licks my fingers, I had the most delicious honey on bread and she barked happily, jumping around everytime I squealed.
The memory fades and its winter, the fire is crackling away, mother is curled up in her favourite chair, darning basket close at hand. I am eight years old, Bonita and I are lying together on the rug watching the flames, her eyes are all but closed as I gently scratch the fur behind her ears, I'm humming a tune, the name of which I never knew, but every night my mother would sing this to me whilst tucking me into bed.
There are so many things I don't remember, it truly is hard but I remember our cottage, it was our haven and the kitchen constantly held the comforting aroma of freshly baked bread. Our front door was the shade of blue that reminds you of spring, the sea and a cloudless sky on a sunny day.
The memory changes, I have turned twelve and it is market day, mother and I have finished all of our chores and are enjoying a leisurely stroll past all the vendors, at the end of the market under the shade of a beautiful large tree, is where we always found the travelling artists, away from the hustle and bustle and close enough to the river that you could hear the soothing sounds of the flowing water. Some of the artists would stay awhile, but most would just pass through selling paintings where and when they could. This particular day there was a very odd looking young man, who's paintings were so exquisite I just couldn't take my eyes off them. He too soon left and I have often wondered what became of him.
My eyes open and the only thing I see is the beautiful mountains surrounding Denali, as I said, my happy human memories are few, those years with my mother in our cottage, were once all that kept me going, now they are my pathway back to a forgotten time.