It’s funny isn’t it, how you can just be simply pottering along and suddenly WHAM you get hit with a memory, because you catch sight of, or smell something that takes you back.
Last year we took my eldest to a camp that is held every summer. Just being there brought back all kind of memories for me, because as a child I too had attended that camp. Looking at the stream that ran through the camp made me grin at the memory of catching a bigger fish than a boy who boasted that no girl could fish, and I proved him wrong. Then when wandering pass the campfire catching a whiff of burnt wood, I recalled many a happy night singing campfire songs, and seeing my first shooting star as we slept out under the stars.
After we left my eldest child at camp, I persuaded my husband to drive through the old village where I had spent a large chunk of my childhood. We stopped outside the village church, and I left my husband with our remaining offsprings in the car. Slowly I walked down the path taking in the sight of that familiar old building, breathing in the smell of grass and musty graves. The memories came tumbling out, as I slowly trekked around the church, looking at the grave yard and church hall as I passed. I stood there in the quiet, reflecting on the past, emotions overwhelming me. It was painful being there, yet at the same time comforting because this place was at the centre of my world in my childhood, before we moved and subquently experienced the loss of my Daddy to cancer.
Fast forwarding to the present day I find myself smiling when sorting through long outgrown baby clothes, remembering what my children were like at that age. I have a vast collection of photographs from my youth, and I cringe at my fashion sense when I look at these, but also chuckle when I recall the antics that my friends and I got up to.
Time marches on, and we take it for granted that we’ll always have “the memories”, so it is sad when we encounter those losing their memories, due to illness. The elderly aunt who told long rambling tales, when seeing an image or smelling something, whom we all rolled eyes at, no longer remembers. How we would give anything now to hear her stories again. Instead we are having to gently remind her who people are, and tell her about places that she knows, yet no longer recognises.
Some memories are easier to live with than others, some make us cry, others make us laugh, but all of these come from moments in our lives that help to shape who we are as individuals.