Lately, I've been waking up in the middle of the night, wondering where I am. It's been a bit alarming.
On Wednesday night, I woke up thinking I was in my old Chicago apartment, where I haven't lived in 6 six years. On Friday night, I woke up from nightmares that I hadn't prepared lessons for my music students, students I haven't taught in 8 years. And just last night, I woke up to lights outside the window, and I thought I was in my college dorm room, which I lived in 2 decades ago.
(Read: this may be the week I start losing my mind.)
It's incredible to me how time puts us so squarely in one place, yet how keenly our bodies can remember being in another. And as scary as it is to lose touch with present reality, it's not only fascinating, but also comforting to me that older realities never really leave us. Time may move forward, but our experiences remain a part of our make-up forever.
My dad passed away on January 4th, 7 years ago. This week, I felt the anniversary more heavily than past years. It's as though the cells of my body were recounting his heart attack all over again. But this morning, I forced my body to remember farther back, back to when he was healthy. Times of hiking, playing cribbage, building bar tops, sharing scotch. Those memories came flooding back just as vividly, and I've had a nice time letting myself swim around in those times today.
Not many weeks have morals, but this one apparently does. And here it is:
Be present. Live so fully in the moment that it becomes a part of you, that it steeps into your soul and leaves an indelible mark, that you can bring it back to life by closing your eyes. Time passes, but it does not steal. We get to keep it all, everything we've ever seen, everybody we've ever known. Watching my babies sleep is a memory that will never fade for me (thanks not only to living in the present, but also smart phones). I hope you're enjoying every minute of your life, Reader. See you next Monday. -Em