(It’s nice having time to write blog posts again. But that means I’m not working, which means my bills aren’t getting paid. It’s a fine balance…)
The other day I drove into Spokane to have lunch with Elizabeth, my sorority sister who found me last summer after thirty years. (I’d direct you to that post but it went away when Google ate my old blog. Sorry.) We spent a happy hour catching up on the year that’s passed since we saw each other, and time just flew. It sure doesn’t seem like a year ago that we saw each other. And unfortunately, it’ll probably be another year before we have lunch together again.
In the mid-80’s I worked in downtown Spokane, and over the years have returned to shop, walk through Riverfront Park, or check out the falls (which I should have done that day since the rivers are so high but I forgot, doggone it). The city has undergone a number of changes. I try to remember what it looked like before; what store was in this space, what did that building look like, where was Cinnabon, where was that office party we had that one Christmas?
Images flash through my mind as I remember long ago times and places. I look around, trying to catch a glimpse of the 25 year old Beth hurrying to work, or walking around the block on her lunch break. Leading a life that didn’t include divorces, travels, friends (well, it included friends, just not the ones I’ve made since then), disappointments, joys, losses, treasures. So much happens in 27 years. Heck, a lot happens in 27 days in my world!
Anyway, it’s kind of bittersweet, kind of melancholy, kind of thought-provoking. Not really sad. Just curious, really, to try and remember who I was then, and to think that I had no idea where life would take me. For that matter, I could do the same thing today. Will I walk the streets of Coeur d’Alene in another 27 years and think, “If I had only known what was ahead of me”?
But I can’t know that. So I can’t do anything differently. All I can do is keep trudging forward, doing the best I can. And maybe the 52 year old Beth will run into the 25 year old one in that parallel universe, and they’ll have a margarita and laugh over my feeble attempts to understand time, and life, and destiny.
Time trudges on. Things change. Lives begin and end. I’m lucky that I get to return regularly to familiar and beloved spots and remember the times I’ve spent there, and create new memories to sustain me until I return again. Maybe someday I’ll plant myself in one place and have trouble remembering what year things happened. But for now, this is my reality. I just have to keep piling the memories into my memory bank, and hope there’s enough room for them all.