I have been thinking about the concept of memory this week. My brother and sister-in-law are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon soon and called to get pointers from us about what we saw there a few summers back. Unfortunately, mere hours before we went, a large roll of school bulletin board paper fell on my foot badly breaking my big toe. As a result I saw the Grand Canyon through the fog of pain medication. It wasn’t until the conversation with my brother and his wife that I realized I really have no memory of the Canyon itself. I am sure it is very pretty, but I couldn’t swear to it. I could say with certainty that there is a bench up top that provides a great place for a mother and daughter to talk while others hike. There is a mini-bus that takes you to different spots near the edge to give you the best views, but somehow the image of the mini-bus is much clearer in my mind than the views we must have enjoyed. Memory is a funny thing.
I read the book The $64 Tomato this week written by one of my favorite authors, William Alexander. In the closing Alexander writes, “Things I remember: Witnessing childbirth. Finding myself standing absolutely alone before Da Vinci’s Last Supper. And planting potatoes on a perfect spring morning.”
And so “in memory” of things I have already forgotten, and celebration of things I can still picture clearly, here is my own (ten) Things I remember:
I remember spilling an entire bottle of orange soda–back in the days when the bottles were thin, and tall, and glass– down the front of my new pristine white turtle neck. I remember crying as my mom slipped it over my head and into sudsy water that made the orange go away.
I remember Mom, my brothers, and I gathered at the front screen door watching a rare downpour in our dry prairie town. The creek across the street, filled to overflowing, rushed through the City Park and across town.