I wish we could go back to the moments in life that seem to stand still in our minds. Like Cher says, “If I could turn back time … ”
I am talking about the simple moments from our childhood that seem to come around less and less as we become “grown-ups,” the freedom of being 9 years old with nothing between you and the world except luck as you coast on your bike down the hill on a quiet blacktop road. Eyes shut, head to the clouds, and arms stretched out as far as possible on either side, time froze for what seemed like eternity. Now that was extraordinary, and it did not cost a dime.
Then there were times when my best friend Tracey and I would run fast through the yard, passing Mawmaw Bell’s hens and through the screen door of her little red brick house to escape the rumbling clouds of a nearing storm. We took refuge under blankets made into tents in the corner of the living room, and there in the darkness we lay for hours waiting for the storms to pass. The sound of thunder or the pop of a screen door still takes me all the way back to those homemade tents pitched between Mawmaw’s orchids in the window sills and her cherry wood console stereo record player.
We all have those moments like specks of light filling our hearts with a time gone by, never forgotten. The first day of school jitters, walking a bit taller just knowing it’s our birthday, the magic of swapping gifts at the third-grade Christmas party, hearts beating in rhythm with the drums as the high school band performs at pep rallies, and the unforgettable aroma of Mama making caramel and candied apples for the fall carnival — all of these moments made life seem a bit richer then, well, not as rich in dollars maybe, but somehow more precious in its simplicity.
That’s the thing about nostalgia. By definition, it focuses our thoughts on happy times from the past, sometimes no doubt remembering things better than they were and overlooking how convenient it is to play music on our iPhone or order pizza by delivery now. Still, I am as nostalgic as they come and fairly unapologetic for it.
Oscar Wilde said it best: “Memory is the diary we all carry with us.” My diary is overflowing, the pages filled with enough spectacular times, some long ago and others not so far away, to carry me through several lifetimes.
When you have a moment, why not take a walk down your own memory lane? I highly recommend it.
Email reaches former Columbus resident David Creel at email@example.com.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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