It’s Worth Remembering

Dave - Albany, Kentucky
Entered on February 13, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: legacy
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It’s Worth Remembering

I believe in the sublime power of memory. For some of us, those memories may be happy and carefree like being chased by a puppy or stalking lightening bugs though the violet-blue twilight. Sometimes, memories are sad: sitting with someone we love as they struggle for breath, or reliving the day we almost drowned in the neighborhood swimming pool are less enjoyable. A memory—good or bad— allows us to hold on to the things that we love, the people who’ve defined us, and the parts of us—however slight—that we never want to lose.

I can recall with clarity my fifth birthday party and the flashy red and yellow Mickey Mouse cake that awaited me when I opened my eyes. With little effort I can drift back to the Christmas morning when I received my first Lego set. The texture of the carpet beneath my feet and the warmth of my flannel pajamas are just as real to me today as they were twenty-seven years ago. I can still imagine the smell of the vanilla perfume that my mom wore, and even though she’s gone, I remember the sound of her voice as distinctly as if we’d spoken yesterday. The human mind is a divine instrument. That something as long-forgotten as a sound or a smell can illuminate a pathway back in time is truly awesome.

I believe that memories are vibrant. They wait for us to come back to them; to give them the attention that they deserve; to finalize them. Memories do not impede our personal growth—they enhance it.

I choose to think of memory as a fieldtrip to a happier place; it’s an express- ticket backwards through the years of my life to a time when I was at peace, comfortable with myself and safe from the arrows that I’ve since had to dodge. A memory is a fail-safe. It’s our body’s defense from the rigors and stresses of exhaustion— from the overbearing persistence of adult worry. We all need that safe place, and there is no shame in revisiting those backyard forts that still stand triumphantly within our minds.

True, not everything from our childhoods can last, and we’re sure to reach a crossroads. We may not like the trails that stretch before us, but each route offers something unique; each avenue leads us towards self-discovery. Remembering can give us a special gift, too. Reaching back to a time that holds a cherished place in our hearts provides us with a free-pass into unknowingness. A quiet sanctuary lives and breathes there, and though we may sometimes forget about it, it continues on seamlessly without us. In our memories the childhood that we cherished marches in an amaranthine loop— skipping and laughing and waiting— waiting for us to need it enough that we will seek it out. And when we do, it isn’t because we are childish, it’s because we are finally mature enough to appreciate what we had.