19. Memory

When I was a little boy my father would occasionally take me fishing. Looking back, he actually knew a pretty good bit about the sport; he had all the best equipment, he knew how to tie the proper knots, and he could easily fix a reel. But even with all that knowledge he wasn’t a very good fisherman; nor was I. Usually, we were happy if we caught one fish between us. Kinda sad, isn’t it? I remember one particular time, as we were returning home from a trip, yelling to my mother from the car window, “We caught one!” She gave a big smile and held her hands up, just as if we’d won the grand prize. But I could easily tell that she wasn’t very impressed. 


My grandfather, on the other hand, was a fisherman extraordinaire. He’d go early in the morning and stay all day. And most every time he’d bring back a cooler full of bass and brim. He kept two freezers in his basement stocked full of fish, and I’m sure that he gave away more than he ever kept.


I never really fell in love with the sport of fishing. I just enjoyed being with my father. We became the best of friends, just as we are today. Those memories of my childhood are like charms on my spirit. I look back with fondness, connecting the large spans in my life and feeling like I belong — that I’m part of something greater than simply “the day.”


Memories open the doors of Joyous Gard. And it’s healthy, I think, to recall with intention, thinking especially about the earlier times. Recollection helps to tighten the weave of life’s tapestry. It works to organize experience and locate the greater design of meaning. I believe that we live for a purpose and that lives aren’t merely a collection of random events. Daily trials, I believe, become the coarse threads that add strength to the tapestry.


Days 19-21 Guide


Friday is a great day to rest your mind, and it’s a perfect time to reminisce. Try to consider this weekend how you got to where you are today. What brought you to this point? Think about the wisdom you’ve gained through trial or adversity.


The key this weekend is to hold your life up and restore meaning and connection to its unfolding.


© 2004, Levi Hill

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