With that, the sharp vision of Christmas 1931 begins to fade, but there is a final flicker of clear recollection. That evening, after we had returned from the marshes and eaten supper, I can remember pulling up my carved rocking chair close to the window, sitting in it and staring out into the starlit night through the colored crystals of frost on the glass. Oddly, my mother says she also remembers this inconsequential moment. "You just sat there rocking away quietly, which was unusual, because you already were a notable talker. I wonder what you were thinking? I wondered then."
"I don't know."
I probably wasn't thinking very much, just looking at the frost pattern and the winter shadows because they were pretty and interesting in themselves. Yet there is a certain behind-sense of memory, very, very faint—like the touch of a single strand of spider web—because it has traveled so far in time. It is not a tangible memory, just a whisper of a mood, that what that boy was feeling, not thinking, as he sat rocking and looking into the Christmas night was—all is well.