It is all right there. In one place at one time.
We go there.
To 1908 and 1944 in old photographs, sepia with pink, black and white, more sepia.
And read the beautiful cursive notes, unlike today’s. Marked by an unknown family member. Written in connective lettering now worn, now requiring translation. Unknown penmanship, but a message that is familiar. Words about this place.
Room by room scribblings of her thoughts remark on ownership, “my room.” A photograph tells of pride of place and of the outer beauty, rhododendron are a symbol of early summer.
They are the great equalizer between generations. A flower. A tree. A beacon. A landmark pointing to time and place.
The past, the present, and the future are on a collision course right here, right now. And I stand in the middle of the bitter sweet swirling storm of the three sources of power.
We read the written and attempt to decipher the unwritten. The author who penned the copious thoughtful notes. The photographs record sweet detail of the day.
And later we go to shop in town. The questions that the mind poses when memory blurs the lines. And questions repeat and stories are retold.
And she forgets the recent but remembers the past. And the neighbor’s name too.
I walk with my camera to record the present that looks amazingly like the past. The pictures we have reviewed over the breakfast table for the first half of the century. She too took photographs of the rhododendron and of the house.
My camera and my eye are drawn to similar beauty. Similar landmarks of this place.
And the spring which bears my name carries cool water from the earth delivering it out and down to cool generation after generation, hot from the summer treks up the mountain she calls home.
They come with jugs from far away. I know because she tells me time and time again. The memory, the short term one, is struggling so.
These defining moments of age and disease, they may define me. And I prepare in my heart for this.
Just as generations have shared the spring, the house, and the rhododendron, I may share in this inability over time to remember the beauty and the detail. And the words and phrases.
Today I photograph. And I load up with as much good and beauty as I can.
I dig deep for patience to hear the repetition of the familiar of story over and over and over again.
But isn’t that what we do with those stories and memories we love.
We tell them over to generation after generation.
And what do we do with those things that may come our way from past generations. And when generations before had memory loss in life so you may too. But you just don’t know. But you are certain that He loves you so and He has a plan.
And that anything that comes your way, any pieces and parts of life that start to tear and break away from the current normal –you can face and you can bear. You will meet and face it all head on. Forgetting the neighbors name and the rest. And you will be brave, in Him. And you will borrow Hope from Him.
Because of His Grace and His Love and His Mercy, it all becomes more than OK. It becomes, we can do this melange of life, this mix of past and present and future together.
We can dance through and around and above all that comes our way in the arms of The One Who Made Me.
And like the spring which flows from the rocks which bears my name from generation to generation, always flowing fresh and life-giving, so He pours out and into us when all collides and His Hope springs eternal.
And the future, mixed with the past, mixed with the present is all glorious because of Him.
Simply counting gifts with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com.
Gifts for the counting…
*This mountain home built by my family in 1908
*Time with my daughter and her “old” friend…hearing them laugh and giggle on the long drive up. Learning from them how to laugh at the simple things.
*Father’s day with my father
*Time with my mother talking about the past and reviewing old family photographs. A joy. A treasure
*Writing a bucket list for our time in the Blue Ridge Mountains so that we make memories and savor our time here.
*Hearing a stream flowing constantly outside of my bedroom window here. One of my favorite things in all the world is a stream flowing and the sound it makes bumping over the rocks.
*The rain on the roof last night and cool mountain air.
*Plans to pick wild raspberries with The Patient One and go to Mount Mitchell this weekend
*8 lab puppies who are growing and who all have good homes.
*Time with my man/child just enjoying each other and doing projects around the house. More and more it is all about the simple.