A Childhood Memory - Robyn White
Robyn worked for Greenpeace from 1989 – 1995. Last year she was selected by the NZ Society of Authors for a mentorship programme where she worked with Deborah on her account of a 1992 sea voyage on the Greenpeace yacht Vega, from Auckland to Greece. She is stirred by the questions Who are we? What are we doing here? How do we make meaning of our lives?
I remember the thrill of going to the Easter Show with my family. We always went at night and would walk through the trees in Cornwall Park. It seemed we were entering a thick mist of soft watery light and boarding a large ship. There were the sounds of engines, generators behind stalls. I was so young, and remember looking up into a sea of legs and above that huge flying machines with stunned open-mouthed people whirling high.
The mirror maze and the ferris wheel were my favourite. We were not allowed on the ghost train which burst loudly through clanging doors, full of frightened, screaming people.
One year I got lost in the mirror maze, which was a labyrinth of white-mirrored walls. I was running to keep up with my sisters. Which sister was which? Where did they go? My mother was a seamstress and a designer and had made four little shocking pink, hip-length, cable-knit cardigans for me and my sisters. We wore them with mod-style polyester black pants and shiny sling-back shoes. I remember finding the exit and feeling so confused, that I turned around and went straight back in again.
I wasn’t scared. I think I rather liked the peacefulness of being in another realm far away from all the noise. My parents were troubled, but I was fine.
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