#memories

ON AN OVERGROWNPATH

We were walking in the woods one morning as we are won't to do

Feeling a gentle breeze upon our faces…kissed by the morning dew…

 

We were following our normal trail…ambling along with ease

When he happened onto an overgrown path leading through the trees.

 

A path we quickly followed…brushing away low branches…shuffling through the weeds…

Because sometimes you need to take a path…not knowing where it leads.

 

We had walked a little distance enjoying our early morning stroll

When up ahead a lone old lady was stopped upon a knoll.

 

Her eyes were closed, she was smiling…I don’t think she noticed us al all

as she seemed totally engrossed in the emerging colors of the fall.

 

When she saw us both she smiled, put her hands upon her hips

then waved us over,…but as we approached she put a finger to her lips.

 

“Close your eyes.” She whispered as we joined her on the knoll…

“Some sounds you can only hear,” she said…”when you open up your soul.”

 

“Now open your eyes and take this in…all of nature’s art.”

“Some sights you can only see” she said…”when you open up you're heart.”

 

“My husband and I used to walk this path…some of these trees were seeds we’d sown…

And now, to keep his memory alive…I walk this path alone…”

 

Sometimes I need to walk in the sunshine…I need to listen to the birds

I need to walk with only my memories…in silence…without words….”

 

“Because my heart needs the trees as companions, needs to walk under the sky

It is then I feel he’s walking with me as he did in years gone by.”

 

We were glad we took this path…glad we shared her laughter and her tears

And we left her as we found her…awash in her yesteryears.

 

As for us…we didn’t want to disturb her any more…so we marched on straight ahead

 

feeling blessed we took this path today…and amazed at where it led.


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THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND

Life is a series of transitions …it’s part of humankind…

that as we move ahead with life…some things we leave behind….

 

We leave behind our crawling…when we first learn to walk.

We leave behind our babbling…when we first learn to talk.

 

We don’t walk as much as we used too…when we learn how to drive

It seems we leave behind our childhood…when our teenage years arrive…

 

Then soon…before we know it…we turn around …we’re fully grown

it’s time to leave our parents…and head out on our own…

 

New friends, new apartments, new jobs…life is changing…redefined…

and we’re saddened as we move on…for all the things we leave behind…

 

But crawling, walking, talking…parents….have not gone very far.

Can we really leave behind the things…that made us who we are?

 

Friends, jobs, apartments, homes…everything is intertwined

for though we may move away… 

move on…

they’re never far behind. 

 

Because we are blessed…we humans…as in this life we climb…

for the things we thought we left behind…are with us all the time.

 

They can be found within our memories…anytime and anywhere…

If you want proof just close your eyes…and smile…

 

they will be waiting there…


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OUR OLD THRIFT STORE TABLE

Deborah found it in a thrift store…in the back, next to the wall.

When she happened upon it that day…she was immediately enthralled.

 

A wooden dining room table…solid oak…round with four claw feet…

and a red tab taped across its top showing a price that couldn’t be beat.

 

When I finally made it back to her…I joined with her in making a fuss…

“It’s a little old and beat up.” Deborah said, 

And I smiled…“In a way…it’s just like us.”

 

It had some nicks and bruises and its base was cracked in at least two places…

but we brought it home, we cleaned it up and added a few braces.

 

The thrift store gave us 4 chairs…free!…completing our new old dining room set

and for years around that table is where our friends and family met….

 

for birthdays, parties, dinners, oftentimes just Deborah and me…

It’s hard to put into words how important that old table came to be.

 

Yesterday our old thrift store table was feeling the effects of age…when…

try as we might, after our family left, we couldn’t push its two sides together again.

 

In an attempt to fix it…we tipped it over…but halfway through the flip

we heard a crack…then another crack…as its braces lost their grip.

 

Suddenly after supporting us for so long…it could take the weight no more

and that table, with it’s years of conversations, tumbled to the floor.

 

We have a friend, a carpenter…at least a carpenter every now and then…

who we’re hoping can work some magic and put our table together again.

 

Why you might ask?  

Why not get a new table now that the old one can no longer stand…

Perhaps you have to reach a certain age before you understand…

 

how even old and a little beat up…over that table we can still make a fuss…

and we’d like her to be around for a little while longer…

 

as I said before…just like us.


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TWO OLD COOKIE SHEETS

We never know where our thoughts will lead us 

down which lane our memories will be stirred.

Sometimes it’s a photo, a smell, a taste…

sometimes a song…sometimes a word.

 

Yesterday my memory was piqued…

which caused my heart to skip a beat,

when, as part of cleaning the dishes, 

I was drying our two old cookie sheets.

 

Just by looking at these cookie sheets it’s quite easy to deduce

by the marks of age that cover them…they have seen a lot of use…

 

I smiled when I thought about how Deborah and these cookie sheets endear…

and I stopped to wonder how many cookies they have baked in 30 years.

 

She’s baked for family…for friends…

for years her cookie batter’s flowed…

and all the time these two cookie sheets have shouldered all the load.

 

She’s baked for our children and now our grandchildren.

cookies…delicious, warm and sweet

and long ago these two metal trays became much more than cookie sheets…

 

For they have grown old along with us.

They’ve seen us through laughter…and through tears

and it is my hope they will be baking cookies

for another 30 years…

 

Yes, I love never knowing where my thoughts may lead me…

down which memory lane…or boulevard…or street…

and I’m glad they chose to pause today

 

on these two old cookie sheets.


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MEMORIES: BY DA VINCI & MONET

I love da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, I love to linger with her awhile

enjoying the beauty in her face, the elusiveness of her smile. 

 

And from the first time I laid eyes on them I’ve loved the paintings of Monet.

I love the subjects, love the impressions, love the way the colors interplay.

 

I’ve often wondered as we go through life…if this is how memory unveils:

Initially brushed upon our minds like a da Vinci…in detail.

 

Then over time those fine details seem to blend a little everyday

until, as we grow older, we remember in Monet.

 

When we first make a memory…we remember it exactly as it appears

but slowly, imperceptibly, those details become less clear.

 

And the more experiences we add…the more new memories we overlay

before we know it our detailed da Vinci seems to look more like Monet.

 

But through the the wonder of our memory as these two painting styles converge

from within the impressions of our past…old details will emerge.

 

And we remember certain facts as if they happened yesterday

until they blend back to impression and gently fade away.

 

Perhaps it is this blending of the two that makes our memories last

and we are meant to find some small details in our impressions of the past.

 

Perhaps this is the essence of how we’re designed to see

Perhaps this is the nature of art…

and the beauty of memory.

 

 

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THE FRIENDS WE HAD BACK THEN

I noticed my old high school yearbook on the shelf where it has stood

for many years and when I opened it I thought…it smelled like childhood.

 

Browsing through its pages…much to my delight

I found myself and many old friends…looking good in black and white.

 

Most of the faces I remember…some I did not know.

Moments captured for eternity from a time long, long ago.

 

There was Rollie, there was Marilyn, there was me…and Joe and John

We spent many moments together…and then in a moment…we were gone.

 

Gone on to our futures…wondering what we might find…

excited at the possibilities…grateful for the friends we left behind…

 

I did not know back then…(I was much too young to see)

how the people in my yearbook…would help determine who I’d be.

 

I had no way of knowing…(I was as yet unaware)

that I wouldn’t be standing where I am today

If I hand’t been standing there.

Standing with my childhood friends 

friends who somehow found a way

to help transform the boy I was

into the man I am today.

 

I wonder… isn’t that true for many of us

as we visit our yearbooks once again?

For where would we all be today…

 

without the friends we had back then.


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Trapped in time

The sun is shining,

Yet I cannot feel it.

They say the heat is warm,

and succulent on your face,

Alas,

I cannot feel it.

 

I imagine it is soft,

and gentle,

like your hand.

like the way I remember it..

It hardens me to know,

It is just that,

a memory...

 

A glimpse in time,

frozen,

weaved together from vision of what was,

laced in tulle and ribbon,

at least,

that's how I see my memories to be.

 

The say the wind is blowing,

it's cool,

and wraps you in it's breeze.

Tightly against your skin,

caressing each curve,

hugging your body like silk.

 

The way you used too hold me,

Your body layeth upon mine,

The weight of you pressing upon my curves,

entrapped by you,

all of you.

 

What I would give...

For just one moment,

to be trapped in time,

with you.

 

 

I REMEMBER

 

When we are created we are given many gifts…

We can hear…we can touch…we can see…

but I wonder if the greatest gift…

isn’t the gift of memory.

 

If our life is like a poem…then memory is the rhyme

allowing us the opportunity…to transcend both space and time.

 

I remember picking Damien up with one hand…

I remember how strong I used to be

I remember it like it was yesterday 

now he stands 6 feet 3’.

 

I remember buying Aden a Snuggle…like the one on TV he’d seen…

That was a number of Christmases ago…

this year he turns 13.

 

I remember giving Ava a huge knife to carve a pumpkin…

Oh! that memory is gold!

In fact it’s one the family still talks about…

And now she’s 10 years old…

 

What prompted all these memories?

What started them on their way?

It just so happens that Taylor…turns 18 years old today…

 

I remember the day when he was born…I remember being swept away…

I remember seeing him for the first time…like it was yesterday….

 

Perhaps that is the wonder of memory…

How it takes moments that cannot stay

and allows us to relive them…

 

like it was yesterday!

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FALLEN LEAVES

There was this creek near my house…

and sometimes I would take…

a fallen leaf…toss it in…and see if it made it to the lake.

 

It was just a childish game…played when I was all alone…

before the invention of cable TV, IPADS, or cell phones.

 

Sometimes the leaf would spin around…before it gently sank…

Sometimes it would lodge in a fallen limb…

Sometimes it would strand on the river bank.

 

But sometimes, when conditions were right…

that fallen leaf I’d take…

would navigate the hazards…and make it to the lake.

 

I think memories are like those leaves…

for everyone we make…

gets tossed into the river…but not all make it to the lake.

 

The ones that do…however…

reach a lake kissed by a gentle breeze.

A lake that’s filled from top to bottom

a lake surrounded by the trees…

 

A lake we’re meant to visit…for it’s a lake we have created

filled with a lifetime of the memories…we have accumulated.

 

I’ve reached a point in my life now…

where I like to close my eyes,

dip my toes into the lake and see what memories arise…

 

Yes, I like nothing better, now, than to sit upon the shore

and to be flooded with contentment…

knowing what all those fallen leaves were tossed in for.

 

 

 

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