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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