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  • Justin Kane Elder

Yellow helmet



This is more of a story about other people's stories. My earliest memory’s stand by like parade goers obscured in the fog. From there the color yellow calls out, from a place of comfort that harbors safety. Not only does yellow encompass a psychology of warmth it also signifies light. It was there that my childhood found shelter both physically and emotionally.


All of my close relatives have told me what a weird kid I was. There are countless examples of my bat shit crazy behavior. There’s the somewhat stereotypical stories. The little kid that uses a pillowcase as a cape as he masqueraded around pretending to be a superhero wearing his underpants on the outside. There’s many about my swimming pool phobia. And then there’s the Yellow Helmet.


I’m not exactly sure where the yellow helmet came from, but it was an all encompassing part of my being ages three to five. Some kids have a favorite blanket or teddy bear that they hold onto for dear life. It’s their security and place of safety. Mine was that faithful old yellow helmet. It was an adult ¾ face motorcycle helmet of unknown make that was too large for me and painted absolute primary yellow. Once I put it on I rarely took it off, it became Omnipresent. Only coming off when I showered or slept. I was so insistent about wearing it, I even wore it to church despite my parents protests. There’s photos of me in my Sunday best, smiling with a bright yellow helmet on.


I like to think that I was super smart and understood the fact that I was very accident prone. Which I still am to this day. So... I was just keeping my noggin safe in those formative years of brain tissue. And doing some trendsetting research for the fashion forward. But in reality it was my first attempt to express my creativity. And it worked


My family always accepted my quirkiness and encouraged it, never making me take it off. Teaching me that it was OK to be myself. Giving me one of my very first examples of being comfortable in my own skin. A vital lesson that has become a foundation of who I am.




So shall it be, in winter and in rain, the sun's embrace all feels the same.


-Jke


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