"Each experience is a whisper, which memory will warehouse as a shout." - C.S. Lewis
In our pursuit of happiness we often press forward, often to the neglect of the present and certainly to the negation of the past. The chance pledge of moments hence and the notion that they, like some distant island, offer salvation and tranquility, keep our minds fixed on what is yet, has yet, and may never be. At least, this is the way of so many young men and women, though when we get some years behind us and our memories have more of a life to recall, we recognize and prize the days which have past. We gild those days, because they were ours, and though they may have been hard we now know the lessons which could only come from them, and to spite them would be to spite our own story.
History is a strange thing. It has about it the undeniable facts of events, yet it is our interpretation of it and the significance we assign to it that makes it "history" to us. Many of our grandparents worked hard. Some experienced war and poverty on a scale which has not been seen in generations. They longed to provide for their children and grandchildren a future which was better than theirs. Yet, their children and grandchildren have looked to their story with idyllic awe. We hear the stories of their sharing in hard times, their attitudes of gratefulness, their spirit of frugality, their grit and tenderness and wonder how we might, now living in that better future, have more of what they did.
I often find my hope looking ahead, but my assurance looking behind.
Happiness is a strange thing as well. It marries the past with the present if we let it. The past, seen not through the lens of dates and places, but of people and lives, brings with it happiness in the present. Sometimes, it is those small tokens of remembrance that keeps us connected to a larger story. They speak a little to who we are and what we are about, and serve as a reminder to be happy both for the days we carry with us, and those yet to come.
~ Mike Yarbrough