Contemplating this theme of “harvest” has brought back some very distinct memories for me. That, coupled with the scent of autumn on the air, has afforded me the ability to recall events long past that might otherwise have been lost to the recesses of my mind.
Having grown up in the northeast, every autumn my parents would take my sister and me to a large orchard, and we would spend the day climbing trees and picking apples. This was a family outing that we anticipated eagerly all year, and we would come home with baskets of the vibrant ripe fruit, looking forward to eating them, baking with them, and sharing them with our neighbors. Somehow produce that is picked directly from the earth or tree by one’s own hand tastes infinitely better than that purchased at the local market.
I remember, too, that my grandmother would sit on her sofa and peel apples in one long strip, so that she ended up with the juicy white fruit in her hand, and a ruby red spiral on the plate. My sister and I would ride our tricycles around her living room (yes, really!), and with every lap we would pause at the table for her to offer us a freshly cut slice. Somehow fruit that has been peeled by one’s grandma tastes infinitely better than that peeled by one’s own hand.
As I sit with these memories this morning, I am warmed by the way they envelop me and take me home. These and other memories of days long gone form the foundation of where I am from, of who I am, and of who I have yet to become. Gathering them allows me to harvest a connection to my childhood that at times seems tenuous, and sharing them with my own children plants seeds of the legacy of love that they may later harvest when they are grown with families of their own.
“The soul thrives on remembering. Feed it memories and it comes alive.”
~ Macrina Wiederkehr
Our memories keep alive our connection to our past. If you spend a few quiet moments harvesting your own memories, what comes to the fore?
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I have learned to never underestimate the power of a childhood memory- both from my own childhood and that of my children. I find myself still processing my own youth. And things we did with our own children that we thought were just opportunities for us to be a family have become table conversations so many times I can’t count and now that the kids are adults and articulating from their own life experiences can I see how they do indeed hold childhoodcmemories to their hearts still.
Yes. I am continuously amazed by the memories of events my boys will recount, and how many of my own “forgotten” memories are brought back in conversations with them. Things that I never realized were so deeply important to me or to them, but when we share what we recall I can feel the significance.
Thank you, Tess.