I was helping my mom with the wash, pulling out the diapers from the agitator and running them through the ringers. As I was doing so, my long red hair got caught in the rollers, and I was pulled into the mechanism. I was about the height of the washer and with my head now perilously close to the rollers, I could not reach the electrical plug—I could only scream. Mom heard me and ran to my side. She turned off the washer and slowly untangled my hair.
An old washing machine took me on this unexpected journey through time. I had forgotten about this scare, and yet the memory awaited my discovery.
Our mind is a marvelous gift. We travel though time with surprising agility irrespective of age, as the following story will reveal.
My dad, who is now 96, sometimes does not remember what day it so or the names of his own children. But there are moments, precious moments when he is very lucid.
One day, while sitting at dinner, the conversation shifted to hand guns. On the farm, guns are used to scare birds, or stray coyotes and the occasional rattlesnake. Dad looked up and said, “Guns? Did I hear you say guns?” He then proceeded to explain how best to hold a gun, where to aim and so much more.
We stared in disbelief as he spoke, for he had awakened and was a young man again. The topic of guns brought him back through time to us.
It seems the past appears in the present when we least expect it. Sometimes we see ourselves or our circumstances a little differently with the return of the past. Remembering the washing machine incident, for example, filled my heart with tenderness for my mother—and for me.
In my dad’s case, though, the past was his cherished present. The strokes had not taken his memories of hand guns from him. And for a brief while, he was once again a lively part of the conversation.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~Dr. Seuss