How do I move along in life when the wind of time breathes heavily at my back? It pushes my journey down an unexplored dirt road…waiting for my footprints to mark upon the untouched ground before me. I walk this road with a full pack upon my back that carries the treasure of yesterday within its zippered pockets. Once more I yearn to look back on before, filled with the good, the bad and the amazing…memories that flash as quickly as the blink of my eye. I try to grab ahold of them and a few slip into view and make me smile. That bittersweet smile of knowing that yesterday will always be with me but spent like the end of the day- with a beautiful sunset. Something I will always reflect upon.
Yesterday, a time when I looked ahead toward tomorrow with a desire to reach there before today arrives. Yesterday, a time when I thought this chance at change would ever reach my door. But now I hear it knocking… and as I consider answering…I wait.
It is difficult to step into the unknown…exciting yes, but difficult to leave that which is known and familiar. I wish to celebrate this time in my life and I will do so with a cup of sweet, fruity wine and my heart full of times that I will forever cherish. I believe our life journey makes us who we are and who we will be. My sincerest wish is that my past footprints leave something for others to follow upon. I hope those to be made are created with a dance of gratitude. So now I will answer that door… well hello retirement.
Did you hear it go? The briefest of moments has past – now mingled in with yesterday. It slipped beyond possibility and hope and lies within memories and undone business. I never hear it leave yet I know when it is missed. Like the sunset, when I briefly turn away…gone.
So once again I will reach ahead and plan to grab some moments before me, pull them closer and not waste them by looking away. In order to “catch the moment” I must embrace it with hope, desire and a willingness to see it through, even if it is not to my original intent or liking. I remind myself that moments are like clay, they can be softened and molded and created. The artistry is in the inspiration. The inspiration is in the knowledge. The knowledge is in the soul. The masterpiece is made when I let my soul create and not my ego. It is then that I can step back and enjoy the moment and call it mine.
It is hard and takes ongoing practice to live in the present. Negativity and pessimism tend to weigh down and drag out my thoughts. I have come to liken them to unwelcome visitors, I try to move them along without much ado. There are those days that they repeatedly knock at my door.
So as I sit here and tap away…so do the moments before me. Yet these writing moments tend to float and drift rather than briskly rush into the past. They linger with just a hint of possibility. They give me reassurance that tomorrow is just a moment away…filled with unending opportunities to open my present to myself. Now I ask you, do you have a moment to spare?
It is quiet now and the click of my keyboard the only voice in this darkened room. Another weekend winding down in silence. New precious moments with my family being filed as memories like many before them. Life is like that as it bursts full like a flower in bloom only to close in repose when the laughter and sharing is gone. In this current stillness I feel age in my soul as I reflect upon the many changes in my life. So much has happened…so much time has passed. At this moment I yearn to maintain the feeling of connection with those I have so much history with- whether apart by many miles or many responsibilities. But aloneness sits here beside me as my companion.
I find myself sometimes deep in aloneness. Whether I enjoy the solitude of my inner soul depends upon where I choose to land my thoughts. There is a certain fear that may rise with being alone. When there is no distraction to drown out the insecurities and doubt that have held their own deep inside. Heavy with issues of melancholy and disconnection that can crowd within and remind me of my singularity in a world of masses. Alone can be a hard place to be.
Yet I know that being alone can also provide a beautiful rejuvenation of the spirit. A time to relax and reflect. The inner voice at peace with life and unnerved by imperfection. A reconnection within myself that reminds me of the strength of my soul in a crazy world. Alone can be a renewal of spirit. A time to converse with the universe. A time for the flower to fully bloom.
So where do I choose to drift on this dark night. Where shall I dare a journey. I believe I will smell the flower of nostalgia for a while. Oh but to remember yesterdays with games of rummy, chess and tripoly – and bantering with my brother. I choose to feel my childhood home surrounding me in the comfort of my family. Naïve in thinking life would always be so simple and sweet. Alas…a time when I do not truly know how painful it is to lose a loved one. And in this I know that I am not alone.
This time it was not a certain song possessing poetic words that tugged at my soul whisking me back to times once known. It was not a particular sentimental fragrance that pulled me into my yesterdays. It was but a simple floor tile of yellow, green and black. That fifties tile recently uncovered during a renovation after many years of being hushed and hidden beneath our feet. A flood of memories to be true, that rushed through my head and heart as I stood in wonder. Memories of paper dolls, coloring books, and my beloved chalkboard where I taught school to the empty chairs lined up proper before me. A rare cherry cigar or pipe smoked by my father as we watched Wild Kingdom and Walt Disney with popcorn and Pepsi Cola. Adventurous winter days of cooking hot dogs in the fireplace or just watching the fire snap and crackle while wrapped up in a favorite blanket. Days with cousins, aunts and uncles as we filled the house with constant chatter and much laughter. Projector screen and slides shown at days end with the curtains drawn, ooing and ahhhing to life as remembered with simple reverence to days gone by. Music being played on the record player- careful not to jump and skip the vinyl while dancing to the Twist and Cha Cha Cha. Oh the days brought back by the simple floor tile…Christmas trees, Thanksgiving tables and hidden Easter eggs. Grandchildren and their first steps as well as family together grieving the loss of my mother….all memories held in the space of this room supported by the tile floor underneath So strong, so sturdy, yet silent. Only asking for a buffing and wax in the early days. But as style dictated, covered with various carpets throughout the years. The old carpets are gone…torn out and rolled up and thrown away. But the tile…ever faithful to this day. Alas, we both know that soon once again to be covered and tucked away for discovery sometime in the future. I only wonder if it will be me peering upon the yellow, green and black or someone new …someone who has no idea the richness of the memories quietly possessed within.
Memories are like rivers, sometimes rushing by us and sometimes still, reflective pools. They remind us of yesterday’s joy, moments we took for granted like the daily rising of the sun. Times that have filled our hearts with pure pleasure and made us giddy. Every day we have reminders of this carefree past- some flow through us with revelry as we listen to a remembered song. We smile, sing along and recall the jaunty times we’ve known. Maybe an old friend not seen in years. Maybe photos taken in the midst of sheer happiness. We need to relish these snaps and snippets of life past. They will carry us through tough times.
Yet there are also reminders of days not so carefree. Those reflective, deep pools of yesterday that still our souls, those too we must remember. Those memories of pain and difficult times we thought would last forever and a day. They are profound and very deep. Something or someone reminds us of our past pains-like loss of love and loved ones and loneliness. These recollections seep into our heart, stirring our tears and causing us fear of repeating the pain as we remember it. The times of melancholy and remorse remembered. As hard as those memories are to call forward, they must be respected and held in reverence as we learn from them. They show us that we can and do survive the tribulations of our past.
Memories provide a provocative window to yesterday. We glance through and witness good times once again. But memories also reveal the despair and anguish of our past. Both are significant as we look to the future. We need to embrace all memories as friends leading us to better tomorrows.
My yesterday memories include bike riding with my friends. I had a beautiful blue-green bike with a white wicker basket. My bike became my pony as we galloped around the neighborhood. Not long ago I bought a new bike. I do not gallop anymore…and I have noticed hills have sprung up everywhere. From bike riding I remember getting a little older and riding around in our cars. Guess this was my first introduction to the adult sitting syndrome. Oh the days of cruising. During these yesterdays of my life I recall groups of us in various cars with CB radios and our radio handles. Mine was “blue eyes.” Makes me laugh to think about how we used CB’s . They were our technology of the times- our link to each other, our face book and email of the day. And you didn’t cruise without a dollar in your pocket- for gas.
My college years seemed to blend together. There were so many life choices to make and it was stressful. Drugs were available everywhere and I just was not comfortable with giving up control of my brain to pills. I survived and I married and had children. As a young mother I began to look forward to my tomorrows too much and less of my yesterdays. Now my kids have grown and here I am. Pondering about all of those days that I could not wait to end in darkness and slumber. (Young working mothers know that sleep is the only escape and I strived to get there successfully at the end of the day.)
I have had many twists and turns during my yesterdays. But I have learned from them. I no longer am afraid of the bends as I approach them. I have remarried and he is my best friend. Someone that I used to pass in my neighborhood of long ago yesterdays of my childhood. We laugh about growing up so close to each other yet only discovering “us” some eleven years ago.
Which brings me up to the proper yesterday, recent past by definition. Filled with promise, hope and sweat. Illnesses, injuries have sought us out and death as well. And I cling to my most recent yesterdays knowing that I never know when they too shall become fond memories of my past. I relish them as I do my time simply sitting. I have learned that this adult behavior is not lazy at all. It is simply sublime as it give me pause to recall my yesterdays.