“Good memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.”–Corrie ten Boom.
Plant seeds of memories. Plants seeds of remembrance. Plant a memory garden. Plant a garden of memories. On and on my mind randomly spun, attempting to capture and interpret the essence of what my sleeping subconscious brain was trying to communicate to my waking mind.
It was 4:00 am on a Saturday morning. During the workweek, I rise at that time, three of the five days, in order to make time to exercise before work; therefore, it is not uncommon for me to wake at this time on the weekends, only to roll back over and fall back asleep for a couple more hours. However, my mind commanded, well semi-commanded, my attention. It was trying to send a message from the netherworld of sleep.
I do not know if this is true others, but quite often, during the night, my mind can sometimes chew over finding a solution to an on-going problem, refocus my attention to a point I had overlooked/forgotten, or–as was the case on Saturday– draw my awareness to a an idea, point, or lesson that life and/or Divine Providence, was attempting to teach me. During my younger years, I found this helpful for retaining, learning, or understanding new information, especially when it came to taking a test. Throughout the various changes in my career, this capability has augmented my ability to adapt, modify, and/or change roles. Most often in my present life, that nocturnal niggle has become a reliable source of creative ideas and/or lessons in personal development for which I have learned to listen.
Therefore, as I moved throughout my morning on Saturday, I kept mulling over those phrases. In fact, my poor brother, at one point, was the recipient of my waxings about how those ideas came to be in my mind in the first place and what on earth those phrases were teaching/telling me. It wasn’t until I made my way to Ritter Park late in the morning that the ideas began to bloom more fully.
Since Saturday was my birthday, I decided, rather than run, I would walk and just enjoy the fall weather that had recently swept into the Tri-State area. The sun was in and out, fighting to shine its light through the moody clouds. I made my way towards the steep stone stairs to the Rose Garden as I chose a funk and soul playlist in honor of the infamous Earth, Wind, and Fire classic, “September,” whose lyrics I often change to the “25th of September” instead of the 21st, when singing. Fortunately, for those whom I passed, I wisely chose NOT to sing aloud since I can’t carry a tune!
“God gave us memory, so that we might have roses in December.”–J.M. Barrie.
Making my way around the Rose Garden, I was reminded of the way in which summer flowers brilliantly bloom in early fall before the first frost. It is as if they are sucking the last bit of joy juice out of the soil before fading with the falling leaves. Likewise, candles, just before they are about to burn out, tend to flicker their brightest light. Am I in the fall of my life, I had to ask myself. Is that what woke me at 4:00 am?
With this birthday, my age shifted a bit closer to the sixth decade of life. During the earlier morning conversation with my brother, we were discussing retirement plans–with all the big questions. To what age should we continue to work? Remain in the same job or not? How long do we want to work at the pace/pressure in which we currently work? How long will we still be viable and contributing members of our chosen professions? While we both agreed that we are probably both years away from that ultimate decision, we needed to be more cognizant of this impending reality.
Earth, Wind, and Fire morphed into Sam and Dave, followed by Marvin Gaye, and then the Isley Brothers. The happy-vibe music playlist continued to offer an upbeat soundtrack to my wandering mind as my feet moved in time with the beats. Words of Robert Frost’s poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” floated through my mind as I watched a leaf drift downward, side to side, and land gently on the trickling waters of Four Pole Creek . . .
“ . . . Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf . . .”
Am I planning seeds of memories? Am I cultivating, nurturing, and caring for the blossoms in my memory garden? Am I a good steward of my memories? Are there more seeds I should be sewing in this garden? Am I sharing my blooms and planting seeds in other gardens? Does my garden of memories offer beauty, gentleness, and goodness to the world? Does my memory garden reflect the Divine’s intention for my life, and am I improving the soil on which I was planted? Ultimately, when I can no longer plant seeds of memories, will I still have blooms to hold in order to shine my brightest?
What about you, Dear Reader? How is your memory garden? Is there more good will that you can sow? Are you cherishing the garden into which you were planted? Are you dispersing more seeds of positivity and hope into the world as the dandelion sends out white seeds in the winds of spring and autumn?
“. . . So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay . . .”
Life is fleeting, but oh-so-sweet with people you love and cherish by your side. Make a difference in the soil into which the Ultimate Gardener planted you. Maybe you dream of a far away land, and one day, you may, indeed, get there. In the meantime, make a difference in the garden into which you are now rooted. Share your gifts, talents, and time. It’s easy to go negative. It’s easy to throw up your hands in surrender. Neither choice, however, will plant a garden of good memories.
May your memory garden, and mine, be long filled with blooms.