“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald,
Sometimes, moments of our past come rushing back, pouring into our conscious sphere, splashing our present thoughts away.
Thoughts that don’t make a bit of sense spark a reminder from long ago. Memories that exist only in our personal ether from time since passed make an unannounced appearance to jostle our minds. I’ve often wondered why this happens.
For what reason did these thoughts become stirred and in what subconscious realm are the buried; why were they freed from that storeroom; the basement of mind?
Today I had the thought of a neighborhood that I used to live in. It’s not a part of my favorite childhood memories, but it was a time in my life when things were still being understood, explored and pondered in my youthful mind as it were a river, or a creek.
As water moves, becoming the shape of any vessel, one may be immersed in life.
And as we are all vessels, we are filled with the ebbing tide of times gone by.
A small creek ran behind my house when I was eleven years old. Adjacent to the house was a moderately busy road, and the creek ran underneath it with the aid of a small bridge. Under the road, was a tunnel that we intrepid explorers could walk through. The walls caked with graffiti, the mud lined with trash.
But the bridge isn’t what I remembered at first. It was the neighborhood. The creek that ran behind my house went on for miles. On one occasion, my brother and a few neighborhood friends and I followed the creek for almost 4 hours, then another 4 hours back.
We were all in big trouble afterward, but that’s still not what I remembered most.
It was the adventure. The time I spent unattached to the world, immersed in nature and in awe of all things that I could see.
It occurs to me now that perhaps these thoughts resurface to remind us of lessons, times of triumph or trial. They resurface perhaps because we are repeating old patterns, going along a parallel path that our mind recognizes from long ago.
And I’m thankful for this.
We should all be thankful for these subtle reminders, even though half the time we have no clue why a thought or memory comes to us. It would be wise, I think, to look deeper into these moments, to touch the fabric that binds our heart and mind, and truly feel what we are experiencing here, now, contrasted to then.
The memory exists not for simple pleasure, not to tease us with good times or torment us with old, but to teach us of the present, and to guide us along our true path.
And to make us realize, now is where we’ve always been.