Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Just what in the world does that word mean? I heard a doctor once describe this as irritating grains of sand in our memory that get covered with layers and layers of time until they turn into pearls. It seems all the bad memories we had while participating in the events of our past have turned into great memories. I remember bailing hay for my uncles as a kid and hating it. Now, as I drive in the country and catch the fragrance of freshly cut hay being raked in the fields, I wish for one more day on a wagon throwing bails around.

But there are also so many wonderful memories. During Mardi Gras day at our offices, someone brought in rhubarb pie. One bite and the pearls of the past came back to me instantly. I could smell lilacs and taste rhubarb. I could hear the rhythmic pumping of the bailer and the creaking tires and frame of the wagon as it rolled over the uneven field. I could feel the sun burning my back and the occasional breeze cooling me. And I could see my dog Misty barking by the fence with the apple trees letting go of the ripe apples behind her.

Misty is long gone; the lilac bush was cut down years ago; and the old-fashioned bailers have been replaced with modern machines that now roll the hay into massive bails. Everything changes, but our memories are the wonderful keepsakes of those seemingly lost times of our youth.

I love to watch my children now as I think back to those cherished times of my past. I wonder what memories they will cherish. What will become pearls for them? What do they hate now that they will ultimately wish they could do just one more time in the future? Most importantly, what am I doing to ensure I help create these special memories with them? As Carly Simon sings, “These are the good old days.” What can we do as servants to help create the good old days for everyone around us right now?

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