Sunday, July 3, 2011
How the past lives on
When I woke last week and wrote my usual Sunday post, I could not have predicted the response; many of your comments made me cry with gratitude. And when Whitney even provided me with the quote reminding me of the reason I began this blog, I was, quite simply, humbled to realize the power of the blogosphere, of the connections we make with one another, and with ourselves. As a writer, most of the time when you write something, you get little to no feedback about how the words affect others, because until recently unless you became a published author, found someone to publish your work and later read the reviews, you couldn't know how people would be affected by your thoughts, your words. It's a new world, brand new.
Going through the past week has given me time to allow the lingering places in my heart that remain unhealed to percolate up to the surface. Dreams help, too. I overslept this morning, waking from a dream of struggle. As I made my way into the waking world, I realized I was hearing a squirrel on the front porch screeching at something out of sight. After shooing him off the porch, I noticed that it rained again last night, after a brilliant blue cloudless day yesterday.
Everyone has those defining moments. The one in the picture might have been one of my earliest. Fear made me remember being buried in the sand deep enough that I couldn't get out without help. Daddy was roaring with laughter at my fear, providing a sound track that also lives on in my brain. My cries and his laugh. He dug me out, but not before someone, probably Mama, took a picture and preserved it for me to relive that moment. Even though I now know that there was no real danger, it existed so perfectly for me in the moment that the cold sand felt like cement, entombing me there forever.
Positive life-changing events also define before and after moments for me, too. Skydiving was a big deal, which I began at the tail end of 1990, so when I think of something in the past, I recall when it occurred by whether it was before that time, or after. Since almost every single moment of my first decade of skydiving was spent either jumping, thinking about jumping, or waiting until I could get to the Drop Zone, it makes sense. It's not that way now, though. Yesterday I went to Snohomish and made a couple of skydives, playing with my friends and having a really good time, but no single thing happened that will make that day stay in my mind forever. It will blend into memories of a summer of great beauty and happiness at being alive and vibrant in a wonderful part of the country. Unless, that is, some life-changing event occurs that will put a marker in my brain recalling it in vivid detail. I hope not.
I'm ready for some time to allow my life to settle into what passes for old age in my world. Oh, I know that old ladies don't usually jump out of airplanes and hike every week for ten miles with a backpack, but times are changing. And who knows how long I can continue to do it? For as long as I can, I will.