I arrived at my mom’s a little early. My daughter and her family would arrive shortly after me, and I wanted to take a quick trip to check out the sunflower field, where I hoped to get a few photos when we had a casual 6-month photo shoot with my granddaughter.
I climbed onto the ATV and started down the field road. It was a gorgeous day. I realized I hadn’t been down that road and toward the timber area for a while. I let the wind hit my face and enjoyed the gorgeous colors of summer. As I got close to the end of the field road and moved toward the timber, I saw a mama deer and her twin fawns. I slowed down, snapped a photo, then tried to slowly continue and leave them in peace. (They still trotted away to safety.) I rounded the familiar corner that led to a clearing and dried up pond, and a flood of memories washed over me. Memories of growing up on the family farm, memories of adventures with my daughters and other family through the years, memories of slowed-down rides with my dad or mom in more recent years.
That fifteen-minute ride to check on sunflowers was a perfect reset button for me. It’s amazing how memories can renew perspective. There’s some sadness attached to some of the memories, but there’s more sweet than bitter in it all.
Being in a familiar place can stir up all sorts of thoughts. I sped up a bit and stood up to feel more of the wind. It was cleansing and energizing. I would spend the next couple hours taking photos of the next generation of my family, and some of those photos would be in the same area in which I had so many memories. I was grateful. Yet it’s also important to recognize that, as we more forward, we loop into the past at times. We can’t and shouldn’t leave everything behind. Even remembering some of the hard things helps us keep a perspective of reality. If we compartmentalize too much, we try to shift reality to make it tolerable or favorable for ourselves.
Be truthful with your memories today. Stand up and lean into the wind. Greet what is ahead of you, even when it involves the memories of yesterdays. Don’t leave it all behind.