Once Upon A Time Comes More Than Once

Everyone has one. Everyone needs one. And although yours and mine are dramatically sealed away, they remain wonderfully accessible. They are known as memory banks, for these guarded sanctums allow you and me to deposit and withdraw as much of our life story as we need. A need especially felt whenever the seasons change on us. Like now. Now when another brash winter is slowly being tamed by another shy spring; now when our calendars grow crowded with celebratory dates like Passover, Easter, Mothers Day and Graduation.

The memories we’ve stored up in these banks total in the millions. As old as once-upon-a-time and as young as just-a-breath-ago, they are fragile yet fierce accounts of our collected yesterdays. No surprise [or guilt] that the young are usually too busy living the moments to realize how quickly they melt into memories. However, the old know better, which is why the approaching holidays and holy days mean so much more to them. Watch the tears in their eyes in contrast to the fidgets in their offspring.

The aging and the Alzheimer patient — they especially understand the comfort of memories as they systematically lose theirs. Think about it. If our lives are anything, they are a delicate necklace of memories which we wear around our life to remind us where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re heading. These memories coil themselves about us with enormous comfort, and yet at the same time, creativity. You see, recalling memories is not only a passive matter, for it lets us actively sort through what we did, why we did it, and alas why sometimes we didn’t. None of these insights were available at the time, hence the value of celebrating them now during the coming days. Done just right, these celebrations can be like replaying and freeze-framing the video of your life.

So while it is surely true you can’t live in the past, it is no less true the past can live in you.

As these days take up room in our homes and communities, I for one hope the participants won’t hurry through them too routinely. I know I won’t! Like a well-prepared feast, each celebration asks to be savored, not gulped; to be enjoyed so totally it will become among your very finest memories. After all, after all’s said and done, the only part of these days you can take home with you will be the memories

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