I’ve been riding my bike to and from work every day this summer. I’ve been enjoying it so much since I found a short cut where I can avoid riding on the large highway. A small part of the trip is between a corn field and an open pasture and that little passage has been such a wonderful daily experience.
Today was the first really cold morning and I realized that summer is finally winding down. While riding I thought about how I wanted to remember this. I’ve done my best to document it well with instagram (above), but I want to REALLY remember it and that brought me back to another memory from when I was probably 14 or 15.
When I was in high school I went on a trip with my grandma to Southern Illinois for a family reunion. It was a very memorable trip where (not in order of importance):
1. I realized “PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS ACTUALLY TALK WITH SOUTHERN ACCENTS?!”
2. I got to spend time and bond with my grandma and great aunts
3. I heard many family stories and visited countless locations from their past
4. I met distant relatives (it was a family reunion after all)
5. I visited Amish country, witnessing (from a distance and for the first time) people living the simple life
6. My grandma bought me a pair of PLATFORM MARYJANES (similar to the ones pictured above, that I wore into oblivion, actually until the heels disconnected from the shoe and even after that I duct taped them together and wore them for a couple more years)
7. AND she gave me the concept of purposely making a memory.
My grandma had the habit of going for a daily walk after eating dinner everyday. It’s a habit I often think back on and wish I could do myself, but then get distracted by “oh my gosh there’s something new on the internet”. When I would stay with her, whether at her home or on the above mentioned trip we would go for walks. One evening after dinner, while on this trip, she and I, and my two great aunts went for a walk. I can’t remember how we got where we were or what happened afterward, but during the walk at one point we came out into clearing, a dewy grassy path next to a soy crop field, the sky was amazing and there were crickets or cicadas singing. My grandma said to me “make a memory of this”. I tried to take it all in with my senses and then closed my eyes to burn the memory into my mind. And while I have the memory still there, the details are fuzzy, but the thing that made the most impact was the simple concept. Make a memory.
Everyone carries cameras everyday now. Even if it isn’t a camera-camera, we have our cell phones with cameras installed and can document the visuals of our daily lives swiftly. But how often do we step back during those kodak moments, put the camera down and truly take it all in? Let’s live in the moment AND still remember the sound of someone’s laughter, the balanced fragrance of summer’s greenery and humidity, and the feel of grass between our toes, all in one moment. A polaroid picture for the mind.