Memories 16.4.18


Sitting on the terrace of my rented holiday apartment in Lanzarote watching distant aircraft head for Arrecife Airport and the sails of  boats far out at sea, I was trying to recall how many holidays I have been fortunate enough to enjoy in my lifetime.  

My earliest memory is of an overnight childhood journey from grimy post-war industrial Yorkshire all the way to Cornwall. I remember waking in the night to see my father's hands caught in the light of the dashboard, resting on the steering wheel of his Standard Vanguard Estate with its ivory tipped column gear shift and the murmured voices of my parents discussing the road ahead.

A holiday with our own children when they were little, driving to Provence in a car with plastic seats and no air conditioning, so we sat on towels, the windows down, with a breeze as hot as a hair dryer blowing through the car. Or my recent trip to New Zealand visiting my sister and family; snow capped mountains, fiords and glaciers, mountain bikes and surfing.

Yet these are but the merest snapshots of life's experiences, which become engrained by their repeated remembering, blotting out far more than they reveal. What we know as memories are as lightening flashes in a night sky, with infinitely more remaining in the shadows beyond our recall.  Such is the human condition, living in the flow of time.

I am reminded that in sharpest contrast God is the permanent I Am, always present, beyond time itself. Scripture tells us that "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has set eternity in the human heart; yet none can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3.11) and "do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (2 Peter 3.8).  God also never struggles with His memory! He is "all seeing and all knowing", but in his mercy God chooses to forget! Hebrews 10:17 says "He will never again remember (our) sins and lawless deeds", and I for one am thankful for that.

I do not doubt that I will enjoy this latest time away. It is my heartfelt prayer that I will come to treasure memories of this far into the future.

Memories

My dad,
The man who is in truth
The half of me
Yet now but half remembered,
Glimpsed as through a broken shard
That catches thought and
Deep emotion in the merest moment.
Memory is fickle
At once both fading
And bursting suddenly in view,
The trick of synapse
And the days that pass
So swiftly that we do not count;
But let them slip like sand
Through children's fingers
On a summer's afternoon.
These part remembered moments
Are as pearls
Treasured beyond words,
Which mark the road we travel
From first forgotten footsteps
To whom we have become.

(C) Martin Wild 2018

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