When I was very young, my parents read to me a picture book about a Tug Boat. Perhaps ten years later I sensed something. I had stayed in the car while my mother had run into a store. It was gray afternoon. I don't remember what time of year, but I was not aware of being either warm or cold in the car.
She had parked the car in shopping center off of Coit Road down around Spring Valley Road. Is that the one that ran west alongside the golf course and emerged at or near the Church of the Transfiguration? I think so. Anyway, with nothing to do, I lay down in the back seat of the car as Mom left the car to go inside, and just did nothing. I watched through the back window of the car an occasional bird fly overhead and in my state of mind, that was enough. I mean, I was at peace, no time seemed to pass, I was not anxious, I was not really thinking, I was just there and content to remain there.
Without eyes, ears, nose, tough or taste, I sensed something. Still, I just lay there-- not trying to concentrate on what I sensed, I just remained. Another bird flies by. I feel familiar with the timelessness of my present. The familiarity strikes me, and I do try and concentrate on that, and then the familiarity drifts away, unable to be caught by my senses. Two more more birds pass by limited line of sight. In my mind's eye, I see a harbor, arge cranes there to load and unload cargo ships. It is a vivid image, yet surreal-- familiar and unfamiliar. The image the like the deja vu some time before, distracts for a moment, but fades. A bird passes.
My mother unlocks the car and gets in saying something in greeting. I don't remember what it might have been. I respond, and want to return to that timelessness and contentment, but the world is the world, and I am master of nothing in it. As we swing out onto Coit Road headed north, I ask my mother, "We never lived by a harbor, have we?"
"No. We only lived in Richardson and in Fort Worth before our home now. Why?"
"It is almost like a memory -- of a harbor big cranes, but even though I can see it, laike a memory, I don't remember ever seeing anything like that, not like when we have been to Galveston and Houston. It's a memory but not a memory."
My mother then told me how she had a "memory" like that, of an ivy covered house, and how she had asked her mother about just as I had her about the harbor.
When I was reading a tug boat story to my children many years later, I turned the page and saw the harbor I had seen that day in my mind's eye-- close enough to solve the mystery...
... to solve that mystery.