Here I know the back alleys and the street names. That is the restaurant I acquired my caffeine addiction and the boys learned to blow smoke rings. Later it would be the same place that the name Jesus would be proclaimed over the God I had always prayed to. There is the bridge we first said our “I love you”s and this is the tree I carved our initials on. Here is the field I played sports on, my elementary school where I would learn to read and write and also about betrayal, false friends. Here where I worked my first job, where I learned self-confidence and also that grown ups shop lift, cheat on their husbands, are not all saints and in fact might all be sinners. Here where I met my dear friend at the deli to spy on our crushes.
Here we mark the month by the harvest. It is early August…we pick huckleberries, raspberries, fresh herbs, lettuce. I hear my mother talk to the kids about forest fires. My dad tells them of his pet flying squirrel, of the speed with which my granny could pick the berries. All I hear is the planting and growing of memories.
Here we wind through the valley bottom on the cool river waters. We listen to the meadowlark. We startle the deer. I think about conversations with friends, with my siblings. Those that would shape the way my brain works.
And here, I think, I’ve vanished from some of her memory. I walk streets anonymously, a visitor from the city. It is the curious thing about the places that shape us. As much as we like to think we have equivalent impacts in return. 100 years, all new people, somehow I relax in this. Here, has a short memory, best to bury your treasure in a place where it will not rot, in the hearts of those relationships that prove to be true in the long haul, and in the throne room of the treasure bestower who has a long memory.
(I don’t know how to reference a tweet but this post was partially inspired by a tweet by @annelamott “It’s such a relief to come out of a tailspin, & remember again how wild & precious our time here is; how, in 100 years, all new people.”)