A couple of weeks ago I was contacted in response to a nonfiction essay I submitted last year. The essay's status fell to the bottom of my pile when 12 months passed since submission. Yet, an email popped in explaining the delay and telling me the essay on how my parents met would be published in an anthology in 2016. Still some minor adjustments were needed. These "fixes" sent me digging through boxes of memories. You do keep your memories in boxes, don't you?
I quickly found what I was looking for, but the minutes and hours slipped by as I got caught up in examining other items in the box. An interesting thing happened while digging the day away. I remembered how things had happened in the past, generally. But I sensed something different.
As I sifted through memories, I sensed a shift, a change. An awareness of something different.
The change is in the value placed on memories when seeing them through a new lens.
For me, the new lens is the passage of time. Cousins, nieces, and nephews look so young and small in the images now yellowing in the box. Handwriting so solid and steady in old letters and cards now looks less solid and steady. Has it been that long?
Sadly, some of the memories are of times spent with family and friends now gone. Images of visits to their homes in the last three decades bring back cherished childhood memories as well. Has it been that long?
Each memory found, seen through a new lens, and tucked back in the box will be the basis for a post here, an essay submitted somewhere, or the genesis for a second book.
An absolute treasure trove awaits us as each few years pass by. We grow older (sorry, but we do!). We grow wiser and sometimes forgetful. We experience the sour taste of losing friends and relatives, yet know they are in a better place. And miraculously, what seemed strange or silly when we were in our teens or young adult years becomes a gift, a treasured memory seen differently.
How about your memories in a box? Have you brought them out lately? Wonder what you would find looking through a new lens? Maybe it's time to find out!