My Favourite Window

May 2, 2011

Nuts in May

Here we go gathering
nuts in May,
nuts in May.
Here we go gathering
nuts in May,
on a cold and frosty

It all makes sense here in New Zealand.  The paradox of course is that the song originated in the Northern Hemisphere, where nuts ripen from September onwards.  Is this a mondegreen that arose from childhood garbling of the words Here we go gathering knots of may?  A celebration of Maytime with its profusion of may blossom?

My baby-hood squirrel is a reflection of my parents' English background, at a time when most Antipodean toys and books
where Anglocentric.  This squirrel has, like so many artefacts I share with you, come out of the Skudder House:  in the early stages when I was working, covered from-head-to toe and gloved agains the dust and grime of decades.  My little bath toy was as dirty as anything else I was finding, but my immediate reaction on finding him was to want to put him in my mouth, to feel that walnut.  I experienced this feeling with my feeder-cup when I found it too: an intense pre-rational sensation. But having sensed this once, there has been no return.  The window to my baby desire was a fleeting one.
Yet maybe when all other sense has deserted me such feelings will still be accessible given the right triggers.

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