Posted by: Robin | April 17, 2008

Memory Quilt

The last couple days have been a vivid reminder that human lives have seasons, and lately I seem to be revisiting mine in vignette experiences. For example I picked up my grandson at preschool yesterday, a vivid deja vu of an earlier day standing amidst a crowd of young parents, and the teacher’s nursery school voice pitched for us to hear, “I see Brandon’s mom, and Susie’s dad,” as she released the children one by one (you know, the one Miss Janie used on “Romper Room” when she looked in her magic mirror). Then to avoid a backup on the Schuykill Expressway I decided to go to New Jersey the back way, which required traveling roads I hadn’t driven in twelve years. I’d forgotten route 73 has construction perenially every couple miles. Then we got to the border between Philadelphia and Montgomery County, PA, and the only two roads I knew to get me to where I needed to go (Lincoln Drive) were closed, which left me traveling the highways and byways of Germantown. Thirty years ago I had a working knowledge of said streets, and familiar names floated up from the recesses of lost memory while my anchor to my present in the backseat began to ask, “How much longer, Grandma?”

When I got home Benjamin saw that the crib he’s always slept in had been dismantled, a reminder for both of us that he’s moving into a new season of life. Later in the afternoon I wrote an e-mail to a friend from high school who’d just gotten in touch on MySpace. I hadn’t seen or heard from him in thirty-eight years, and the time I knew him best was 8th-10th grade. That’s a time of my life I haven’t thought of in an eon, and it’s been one of those sweet serendipities.

Today I have been going through my reading journal of the last eight years in my latest website fad that my daughter Sarah invited me to join, so we can stay in touch with what each other is reading. I’ve input and rated four-hundred book titles onto my page in the past couple days, but the titles I added today are not only a record of my pleasure reading since 1999, but my research for my Master’s thesis and my research for my novels. It is a record of a great deal of invested time that I haven’t considered before. Then I took my dog Charlie for a walk and saw the effusion of violets and a yellow wildflower that now carpet the bank of Newton Lake, which I first fell in love with last spring. Finally I got a call that a wonderful woman who has inspired me greatly these past seven years has died after a bought with cancer. She was a model I aspire to emulate in growing older with grace, generosity, joy and faithfulness.

So it’s been a journey from 13 to now and a glimpse into a season yet to come, all in two days time. It’s reminded me of how far I’ve come and that I am not nearly grateful enough.


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