Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nostalgia

At lunchtime today, I walked out into one of those midsummer days such as I remember when I was a boy. The air is soft and humid with just enough breeze to keep it comfortable. Trees and grass are lush shades of green. The sun is bright and the sky a brilliant blue. In the west, cottony clouds are building with the promise of an evening thundershower. The light, the colors, the smells, and the touch of the breeze on my skin take me back, to make me think, to make me remember not only days but also events of long ago .  

Has it really been more than half a century since I first experienced the summer in images so real that even today they rush to my memory with all of the freshness and power of current impressions?

“Yes,” my soul tells me. “It has.”

Has it really been over 45 years since I first saw a girl in a green dress and fell tail over teacups in love? Has it really been that long since our first date and all of our subsequent dates, since movies and prom nights and football games and Sunday afternoons when our chief joy was being with each other?

“Yes,” my soul tells me. “It has.”

And has it really been 43 years since that same girl, dressed in white this time, walked down the aisle and joined her hand and life to mine? We were two kids with huge dreams and absolutely no idea what they were getting into, and none of that really mattered. For better or worse, we were together. 

And has it really been nearly forty years since our eldest made his appearance, and thirty since our youngest? And have we really lived at our current address for over 25 years? It’s just not possible.

And are there now kids that call me “Grand Dad”?

“Yes,” my soul tells me. “It is so.”

Good times, fun times, challenging times, and even trying times, all long past, but at the same time still fresh and new, continuing in memory. 

Someone once wrote that we are all products of our pasts and I am no exception. My past was very good but I am constrained to live in the present. 

Here, in the present, at the juncture of past and future, it is my job every day to wrest from each moment every ounce of flavor that life has to offer. For it is the moments of the now that will make up all of the fond memories of the future.