Friday, July 25, 2014

Memory Lane....

This is my 999th post on The Castor Oil Tree. It is only fitting that it be about 'memory'.

My trip to West Virginia with Mejol (my spell-check always underlines her name, not surprisingly, since she is the only 'Mejol' in the USA) brought me deeply involved with memories of my childhood.  I tend to live 'in the moment' and memory isn't usually a part of 'where I live'. But this trip disrupted the way I live normally and threw me into the past--a place I seldom visit.

It's not a choice I make to live in the now--it's just the way I'm made up psychologically. I live, normally, as if 'this moment' is the only moment that matters. Being with Mejol and Aunt Elsie reminded me that it is 'the past' that has made me a person who lives in the 'now'.

I've mentioned before in these musings and ponderings that, for no reason I can comprehend, my childhood and most of my life has been contented and without drama. My life has fit me like a glove fits a hand. I have no 'great tramas' that I've had to deal with. I've been happy and safe and satisfied most moments in my life. I have to dig deep to find moments that were deeply disturbing or left a scar. I've been profoundly blessed in that. So, perhaps it is that my life has been so comforting for most of it that I am comfortable just living in what is 'right now' and not dealing with 'the past' or worrying about 'the future'. I don't know. But if that is true, I give thanks for it with all my heart.

But Monday through Thursday of this week, that way of being was interrupted by astonishing memories of my childhood.

I don't sleep well when Bern isn't in the bed with me (and our Puli dog, Bela, for that matter) and I didn't sleep well at all on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night this week. But when I slept, I had dreams of the past, of times long ago, of people long dead, of being young.

Mejol is part of my earliest memories. She was five when I was born, but in my memory she seemed much older than that to me. I think she is an 'old soul'. Her life--unlike mine--has been full of pain and fear and drama. She's navigated all that, I think, because of her 'old soul'.

The 'old soul' part of her wasn't a part of my memory of her in my life. That only came later as I looked back and pondered it all. She was simply there, a seamless stitch in the fabric of my being.

Riding with her in her car I discovered that I hear much better out of my right ear than my left. When I was driving, I heard every word of her soft voice. When she was driving I had to ask her time and again to repeat what she had just said. Valuable information, I'd say.

Though normally, I seldom dwell on the past, this trip gave me that opportunity and blessing.

Who I am today, who I've always been, was shaped and molded by Mejol and Aunt Elsie and countless others--mostly family. This trip made that crystal clear.

I've sometimes thought 'who I am' leaped full-grown into existence all by itself.

Oh, no, I've learned these last days, traveling to West Virgina and back in time. I was formed, shaped, molded, created by my past.

This, I tell you, is a gift to know and a reminder to remember.

You can live in 'the now' if your past gave you that permission and formed you that way.

After this journey with Mejol into our past, I will never be the same. I will ponder 'who I am' differently.

That is a blessing I do not deserve. And I welcome it....

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.