We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand
On a rare lazy Saturday afternoon, Neal and I decided to picnic at a nearby lake. I packed wine, cheese, and fruit, and Neal found an old blanket. We drove the short distance and found a spot under a shade tree on the water’s edge. We sat there for a couple of hours. While nibbling Brie, spread on Fuji apples and sipping merlot, we talked about life—our life— where we’d come from and where we hoped to go. I remember laughing and relaxing with the man who shared life with me. When I think about that day—that moment— I can still feel the breeze and see the “sun-diamonds” dancing on the lake.
Good memories are made in many ways. Some just happen like the lake picnic and then there are those we intentionally create. For example, Neal and I wanted our children to have some fun memories of their childhood. We enjoyed surprising them. When they were small, we’d get them ready for bed, read them a bedtime story, and tuck them in. Seconds after the lights were turned off, we’d yell for them to “hurry to the living room.” As soon as they came, we piled them in the car and went to get root beer floats at the local A&W. Another fun thing was a secret trip to their grandmother’s on school days. The day before I called the school to inform the office of their absence and packed their clothes in the car. The next day we drove toward the school, only to pass it and keep driving. They were delirious with excitement!
It is the “moments” that we carry in our hearts all of our lives. My grandchildren will remember gardening with Nonni and driving the tractor with Poppa. I’ll remember sitting on the beach with Neal at night when it was so dark we could not see the water, only hear it. We could taste the salt air as we talked. The memory of a white coffee cup with tiny yellow rosebuds that held an encouraging note still sweetens my day. During stressful days, I close my eyes and think back to walking wooded trails alone, breathing the cool herbal air.
Good memories come in all size packages. Some just happen, some are created, but all have that special ingredient—the giving of time to others, to life, and to ourselves.
This week, be kind to yourself, and give yourself a moment. Think of something to do for someone else. Give the priceless gift of good memories.