Річ, яка нагадує мені про сонце в зеніті

A thing that reminds me of sunny, cloudless days

Not all the things that remind me of the past are kept in my house. Some of them I have only in my visual memory. I remember their shape and colors well and imagine how the light will fall on them, drawing long and short geometric shadows in the photo I plan to take. 

In elementary school, after classes, I often went to the school workshop where my father worked as a labor teacher for over 40 years. At the rocketry club, I would walk among the workbenches only slightly lower than my height and stare at the concentrated work of the high school students. They were diligently painting rocket models.

They glued together the body and stabilizers of the rocket from thick cardboard, and carved the fairing from wood. It was inserted into the rocket body on a delicate friction, and a bright paper ribbon was tied to its bottom. When the rocket began to fall after reaching the peak of its flight, the fairing would slide out of the body and pull the ribbon with it.

The day of the launch was like a celebration for the young rocket makers. Each of them, following the teacher, carefully carried the rocket to a field on a flat hill near the school. The rocket was launched from a wire stuck vertically into the ground, which determined the flight direction. The disposable solid-fuel engine was ignited by a spark from a hand-held generator that was once part of a military field telephone. At the moment of launch, each rocket maker pressed the button of the electric discharge that ignited the engine and watched the result of his hard work soar several hundred meters above us. I, too, watched the smoke trail from the rocket’s engine, the flickering of colored ribbons in the blue sky, and, just like any one of them, ran across the grass field to the landing spot — only to fix the rocket in the following weeks and launch it again into the cloudless sky.

My father has been retired for a long time. However, some of these rockets are still on display in his former classroom. I dream of photographing them to have these models from my childhood as a keepsake about sunny, cloudless days.