I couldn't sleep last night so I took myself out to the rocker on the porch and sat watching the moon play hide and seek behind the clouds. As I sat there, I was suddenly hit with a memory of a time I hadn't thought about in years. You know that feeling you get when your mind opens up and lets you take a peek into the past again...not quite a deja-vu but better. The memory opens up and you swear you can taste, smell, feel everything about that moment even as you feel your brain scrambling to hold onto it. Yeah, that.
Anyway, the memory was of a night in 1985 similar to this one when I was visiting Cape Breton Island in Canada. I was sitting on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic, big moon hovering overhead, wild waves crashing on smooth rocks and a strong wind blowing in from Newfoundland. I swear I could taste salt. And that tactile part of the memory was gone almost as soon as it came to me even though I kept telling my brain to hold onto it.
That got me thinking (always dangerous) about what memories mean to me as I move further away from them every day. For my part, I find that I hold the "good" memories closer and happily shelve the "bad" ones under "gone but not forgotten". We can't arbitrarily erase things we don't want to remember, but we can choose to let them stay where they live, as a reminder that good moments and the memories they create will replace and soften the bad. There isn't enough time to keep reliving shoulda, woulda, coulda.
So, on the next cool evening (sleepless or not) go outside, wrap yourself in a soft blanket and let the moon in.
"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December" John M. Barrie