“The good and the beautiful is not forgotten; it lives in legend and in song.”
― Classic Fairy Tales
There was a time in your life when everything made sense—when nothing was complicated. Nothing made you question your place in the world. And nothing stood between you and living a full life, with a pure heart.
You were inquisitive, daring and brave.
You were loving, forever curious and your eyes sparkled with joy.
And you were innocent to the spoiled world.
This short time is different for all of us, but for most, it happened long ago. The problem is, nearly all of us were too young to remember it.
This time is hidden by a veil—the veil of remembrance.
We all walk through life with the desire to remember these simple times, these times of purity. Though for many, they pay these missing memories little mind or disregard them altogether.
Here, as we step into the sphere of innocent youth, we should all visit within and search for the times we cannot recall.
We may not find them, but be sure, they are within.
One of my earliest memories is of my brother being born. I was three years old, going on four. Other glimpses of my early days still live in my memory, but they are now faint, almost like the flame of a dying fire.
But what I am able to recall reminds me of a time when life was perfect. Life was simple, and it met me each day with a smile. I rose each morning with renewed vigor to explore my world, and nothing mattered but the love I felt within and around me.
Today I look at my son, in the prime of his youthful innocence, and I’m full of hope.
He’ll be turning three next month, and I’m reminded of my earliest memories. I wonder what he’ll carry with him throughout life, what memories will stay chiseled upon his heart, and I wonder what concerns him now, aside from snacks and playtime.
He’s still very much enjoying his age of innocence, but soon, the world will call to him and the veil will be draped over his early days forever. I only hope to remember these days for him, and tell him of them when he’s older.
But, we all must wear the veil.
We’re all given such a gift, and it spoils as we age. We forget so much, but we’re able to live for so much more.
And this is the sphere of memory.
We’re only able to take with us small fragments of our lives—pieces of time frozen in the mind and written upon the heart. These are the moments that shape our lives, the experiences which form our being and guide the way we live.
Some are vivid, complete with sound, light and scent. Others are more diffused, like the hazy, yellowed images of a polaroid. But they dwell inside us all, in a place we visit only occasionally.
This is the Heartmind.
To know the self is to understand our most intimate experiences, and further, to understand how and why they remain among the missing pieces we’re no longer able to recall.
You may not remember that day ten years ago in the mall when you stopped to look in a store window and saw an outfit that you just had to have, but on that same day you remembered the young woman looking frantically for her daughter.
You remember the fret in her voice and the fear in her eyes. You remember her trembling, and the shrilling call to her daughter as it echoed painfully. You remember onlookers stopping to help, looking at her with the same fright written on their faces.
And you remember the moment when she found her, safe and sound, sitting on a nearby bench waiting patiently for her mother.
You remember the relief you felt when they reunited.
But you forgot what that outfit even looked like.
These moments shape you.
They shape us all.
But life is never as sweet as it is when we are free without care, before the ages of 3 or 4. What memories we must hold, of such a perfectly drawn time.
Is it a wonder, then, why we have no memory of it?
Perhaps we’re not able to remember such perfection. As it is to remember being born, when we cried to the world, speaking for the first time.
But, the good and the beautiful are never truly forgotten.
Our perfect memories may be unavailable to us. But this is a good thing, as we can let them remain unspoiled by our treacherous thought, untouched by our clouded adult minds.
They remain hidden in the vault of soul, held fast by the divine hand, swaddled by the universe which formed them, and covered tightly by the veil of remembrance.
Perhaps we will visit them again one day. But until then…
It is our duty to recall our days of youth and learn from them when and where we’re able, but to also leave our perfect days as they are, and as they always were.