Life, as fleeting as it is, can be broken down in measurements of time. We live for years on this earth and each of those years has 365 days. Each day has 24 hours. If one is lucky, 8 of those hours each day are spent sleeping. That leaves us with 16 hours a day of living which is a total of 5,840 hours a year. That means as of my last birthday I have been awake approximately 280,320 hours. In minutes, I have been awake approximately 16,819,200 which would seem like quite a full life. A lot has happened in all those minutes; there have been ups and downs, people have come in and out of my life, events have changed, jobs have changed, ideals changed, ideas changed, I changed. Most of all that is 16,819,200 minutes of memories…except it isn’t. For almost all of us, we only remember in part. We remember what we cherish and what caused us the most pain. We remember times of deep inner joy and times of utter anguish. I suppose a lot of people wish they could forget the hurts, the sadness, the anguish and the many minutes of suffering. I, on the other hand, would welcome those memories back if it meant I could remember more of those minutes of joy.
My brain has become like a sand box filled with hidden treasures and pieces of glass which have been rubbed smooth by the shifting sand. I forget both names and faces. I forget words. I forget why I was angry yesterday and why I cried when I was a child, (I have forgotten most of my childhood really) and I forget the memories I wish with all my heart to cling to…the dear memories of when my children were little. What I remember, I remember with heart recognition. I remember how very dearly I love them. I remember that watching them growing up have been the best years of my life. I remember moments in flashes like….
Brianna’s small hands in mine as we spun around in a dance one day in the living-room.
Jadzia putting on a performance for the family.
Dustin laughing as he runs away from me, begging me to just try and catch him.
Brittany looking at me with love and telling me I was pretty even after I pulled an ugly face.
Tara singing the Giant’s song from ‘Mickey and the Beanstalk’.
Brandon looking out the window and shouting, “Vroom, vroom!” every time a car went by.
Now I sift through the sandbox looking for more buried treasures I have lost. Sometimes I find a name long forgotten. Sometimes I find a fragmented melody. Other times, I sit in the sand pondering which of two words I mean to use…esoteric or aesthetic? Enigmatic or egomaniac? Often times, memories come unbidden and sadly too late like the time I didn’t recognize someone in church but remembered three days later who she was.
With pail and shovel and sieve, I sit in my sandbox and seek after my lost treasures. If I find the sad broken bits I don’t mind. They can’t hurt me any more. They still feel like treasure to me.
I have decided that if and when I find such a treasure that is worthy of sharing then I will brush the sand off the edges and clean it in the ocean and hold it up to the sun so you can all have a look at it.