Memories must be like jars or boxes, vessels where we store each and every thing that we witness or that happens to us every moment of our lives. Kind of like the jar Belva has of sand dollars and sea shells we’ve picked up off the different beaches we visited, or the wooden cheese boxes I kept my marbles in when I was a kid, or the photo albums, now replaced by computer files. Places to store our keepsakes in until we want to take them out and remember back to another time and place, pieces of our lives we never want to forget.
But all memories aren’t pleasant, snap shots of fun times. Memories can be bad, even frightening, painful reminders. Things we would rather not recall. Happenings that bring nightmares to us in our sleep or bring us “down in the dumps” on a sunny day.
But good or bad, memories are there for a purpose, stored away in the closets and drawers of our minds. They are the unique way we learn to do, and not to do, things: A skinned knee from the past, reminds you not to ride your roller skates down the steepest hill in your town.
Memories start in the womb, I’m told, and continue through out our lives. Recollections help us breathe, eat, find our way home, do chores, walk, run, jump, read, write—they help us to survive, help us travel this road called life. Memories are a big part of the fabric that shapes us—the sum total of who we are at any given time and they are with us until our time is done… our days ended… until we are nothing but a memory.