Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Digging in the Past

As I have mentioned before, we will be moving to a smaller apartment in a little over a month. That means the dreaded "downsizing" which I am now in the midst of.

It starts for me in that horrendous catch-all closet in my computer room. Boxes and boxes that haven't been opened in the past 4 1/2 years are now calling out to me. (Well, not exactly calling. More like cackling in some awful, evil way.) There are books that I forgot I hadn't gotten rid of. There are old financial papers that are long past useful and unnecessary with the advent of computers. There are pictures that were taken before the advent of digital. (Like the one posted yesterday from the 1972 election and tomorrow's from the same year.)

There are train tracks in a 1972 sunset and additionally tinted with age.

There are winter pictures taken with actual black and white film.

There's the aerial picture of my childhood home, taken on my first ever helicopter ride in 1967.

Greater than these, though, are the pictures that bring back more than memories. They also bring back emotions. A professional picture of my wife taken before we met that brings back the feelings I have for that person from 42 years ago as well as the wonderful person she continues to be.

Or the one of my aunt, my guardian, in 1970 when she was just 66, only two years older than I am today. She always seemed too old, but there is a youthful, almost playful smile that jumps off the picture at me.

On and on it goes. To the old HO trains I collected 25 years ago or 32 years worth of journals filled with ramblings and thoughts that evoke for me the moments in which they were written. There is the wrestling with my 30s, the exploration of sobriety in my 40s, parenthood and maturity and mission trips and family trips. They all have their unique and unbreakable place in my story.

To downsize in my mid-60s is a time to reminisce and to reflect on how good great my life has been and how blessed I am by what I have experienced. To review now gives me a wonderful opportunity to be energized again by what has been and think about what may yet be to come.

It is also a gift to our daughter who won't have to do this on some future day.

Overall, digging in the past can be an enriching experience reminding me of all I have to be thankful for.

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