“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” The Wonder Years


“Ok… when I say ‘Team Edward,’ then you say ‘Team Jacob.’ Got it?”

“Yes.”

“Team Edward!”

“Team Jacob!”

“Team EDWARDDDD!”

“TEAM JACOBBBBBBB!”

I sit by the shore of the lagoon and watch two young girls wring out the juices of life. A Succulent Mixture of Laughter, Friendship, and Perfect Adolescence. They splash and yell wildly, praising the gods that have allowed them freedom to choose between a werewolf and a vampire.

For a moment I can see myself, twelve years old and invincible, squealing in delight with my best friend Rachel after finding a “secret lagoon.” A beach erased from the public, where swans poked through the high grasses and the warmest water begged to enclose our newly-freckled knees.

This is the place of my childhood. The hideaway spot of my teenage years. Today I sit and wonder why the world is so persistent in telling me that I am 22.  I swear I can slip into the skins of my twelve year old and seventeen year old self and share memories with them like summer s’mores.

Funny how this can happen, how pockets of this earth seem to hold memories of our younger years for safe-keeping. We are bound so tightly to our grown up attire but a single step, upon a familiar seashore or a roadside that once took our skinned knees and spit back shadows too big for our bodies, and we are swept up into a moment of reminiscence.

It is as if the memory of laughter, sisterhood or a first love has sat and waited for our return, waiting to promenade in our paths once more and beg by tiny voice, “Remember me? Can I stay for just a little while?”

Let Them.

When these memories come we should Welcome Them, Entertain Them, Let Them Wash Over Us like salt water itching to grasp the shore. They are, what I like to call, “the good stuff in life.” They are reminders that we are living. And that we have lived. That we are breathing. And that we have breathed. That we kiss. We gush. We laugh. We build. We treasure. We ache. We sing. We grapple. We whisper.

And then we pile up all these actions and use them as grains of sand to build the sand castle in our mind that is called, “Remembering.”

Like an internal hard drive that we pray never fails us, we keep these memories stocked up and stored. We play with them. We recall them around cups of coffee and dinners for two. We write miraculous stories about them. We Carry Them. We Share Them. And for the memories that we want to let go of, it is our decision to either make them sharp and jagged or to let our hearts smooth their edges to sit as sea glass in our souls.

I said “I love you” at this lagoon and wrapped my arms around a somebody. I painted pictures here during the few years where I legitimately thought I was created to give Monet some stiff competition. Here is where I discovered the “Yes, No and Maybe” rocks: the caveman version of the Magic 8-Ball. These rocks were buried under the sands and, with their uncovering, they would tell a preteen dreamer whether she would have a boyfriend in the next year or be a famous author one day. Today I sit and plead with a God that I won’t take this life for granted, that I won’t be so swept up in living “Just Right” that I forget the art of “memory-making.”

Memories remind me that this world is Ever Shifting and Ever Begging for us to root ourselves in a moment that involves people & places, smells & feelings, rainstorms & sunsets, contentment & appreciation. Memories would testify in court that this is the stuff that really matters, this is the stuff we will want when we grow older. Not the cell phones or the color coded appointment books. Not the laptops or the blog. But the people. And the moments we folded ourselves into with them.

Those Big Important Words can wait. Growing Up, Paying Bills, Planning Meetings, Making Calls.We never needed those perplexities growing up, why do we cling to them so tightly now?Today, let’s just find a memory from our childhood, plump and ripe with pleasure, t0 wrap around us like a feather down comforter. Or better yet, let’s don our quilt of memories around our shoulders but get out there in the world and sew new patches. Vibrant Squares of Love, Compassion, Friendships & Bravery. Oh yes, I like the sound of this.

I feel like serenading my memories, or delivering to them a monologue similar of Romeo to Juliet. Cannot you see the bold & endearing promise that comes entangled with each one? The Promise That We Are Not Too Young. Not Too Old. Not Moving Too Fast. Nor Too Slow. That we are Here. Right Here.

Wherever Here might be: the “Secret Garden” of our childhood or upon rocks that cut our feet but led us into arms that carried us home.

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17 thoughts on ““Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” The Wonder Years

  1. Whenever I return to my childhood neighborhood, I become nostalgic and even a bit sad because I know I will never get my childhood back. The naivete, the insouciance. It’s all gone for good, but at least I had a good one. And I am forever grateful.

    There is something special about nostalgia, which you’ve eloquently expressed in this post.

    1. Ever wish sometimes that you could go back? Apply the knowledge that you know now? I know it does not work that way but I think I would be a master at humanity by the age of 7 if I had that chance given to me.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. LOVE this.

    It reminds me of the quote “home is where the heart is” — because, really, home isn’t just a place. It’s the memories we make, the experiences we share, the people we welcome into our lives. It’s the memories that stay with us, the ones that are painted in our heads and hearts. You do such an amazing job of showing that!

    1. Thank you Shari. I always love how you bring the proper quotations with your comments. I can count on you for a well-used quotation such as this one or a Grey’s Anatomy quote. I love it!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  3. This post is so perfect, it needs a new word for perfect.

    The Promise That We Are Not Too Young. Not Too Old. Not Moving Too Fast. Nor Too Slow. That we are Here. Right Here.

    Oh, to be present. It’s a glorious gift.

  4. Hi Hannah,
    Remember me? You commented on my blog once long ago, and I started reading yours and LOVED it!

    Then, a long series of events unfolded, including me falling of the face of the earth, and also getting a new computer (thereby losing all my old bookmarks.)

    🙂

    So anyway, I just wanted to come by and say Hi again! And in doing so, I discovered the most beautiful thing I’ve read in a long, long time. Thank you 🙂

    (And sorry for this novel of a comment!)

    1. I am so glad you came back to me! I have missed you so!

      And thank you for the sweet compliment, it means a lot.

      Oh, and leave me novel comments anytime you want.. Always welcome.

  5. Your words have a certain magic about them. You have a great heart and a great vision. Keep on writing, it’s refreshing.

  6. Beautiful 🙂 I experienced a visit from these memories while I was away last week – walking the streets that had once seemed so big and so full of adventure, it was strange to see them deserted and so small. And I have to echo what Shari said, as she put it so perfectly!

    1. I actually thought of you while I was writing this.. I knew you were off on your adventure and so this post was created with you in mind love!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  7. Wow, great post & love how you said it all.

    I had an amazing childhood and wish I could go back and relive it if I could but I’m determined to make sure my future children have an awesome childhood!

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