This afternoon around three, the sky started to darken and the wind picked up. I was looking out of the window at the time, watching the leaves turn up and the tree branches doing a dance through the sky.
The past couple of days the sky has threatened rain, but it has remained hot and humid and not a drop of rain anywhere. I expected the same today. The wind blew for several minutes and then, the sound of the wind changed and you could hear the rain approaching. It is still storming outside, thunder echoing and the occasional lightening flashing.
I went out and sat on our porch for a bit as the temperature had dropped with the arrival of the rain. Sitting on a chair I looked out on our yard. The leaves were glistening with rain on them. The trees gently rustled with the wind. The smell of the air filled with the scent of the rain.
All of a sudden I was transported back in time with a random memory, something I hadn’t thought of in forever. When I was a child, my father’s brother (who lived in another city) would come into town with his family for a vacation. He would rent a cottage on the river. My sisters and I would visit for a day or two, enjoying the time spent with cousins we didn’t normally see. The screen porch I was sitting in mentally changed. I was at once sitting at the cottage, on the screened-in porch playing a game on a rainy afternoon. The game was Go To The Head of the Class, and my sisters and cousins were crowded around arguing and figuring the game out. I hadn’t thought of the game nor that time together in several decades.
I came into the house and talked with Dale about the memory and ideas floating around about a possible post. I wasn’t certain about any of it, really.
As I have started to write, I have realized something. Memories are tied to many things. Sometimes a song will have you reliving a date, an event, a ride in a car on a summer day, walking to school with your sisters. Other times you walk into a kitchen and the smells take you to a time past and make you homesick for whoever was in the kitchen you remembered.
Today, the wind, the gentle rain, the smell of the wet ground and trees all provided a memory for me. The memory was a sweet one. I can remember my older sister knowing answers and giving them quickly. I remember being so proud that I had a smart older sister. The memory was comfort and a bit bittersweet knowing some of those family members are no longer with us.
Hebrews 13:8, “ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”(NLT) The One who gives us memories to cherish today is the same One who gave us memories yesterday. I once learned that memories are like a scrapbook. You can open that scrapbook as often as you want. You can look and reminiscence, returning to scents, and people and places. But, memories are for us to remember the past, not to dwell there or live there. Memories are a gentle kiss and brush along your cheek to treasure where you have been. Then, you close the book until you add more to the scrapbook in your mind.