The past week or so has been spent with family.
First, my wife and I spent nearly a week with my parents at the Jersey shore.
That has been followed by several days with my wife’s father and sister.
Among the things we have done with them is to take a day to visit the family cottage which is located on a lake in New Hampshire. Both places – Jersey shore and New Hampshire – are places where we vacationed for many years when our children were younger. Besides walking the beach or along the lake, we enjoyed ice cream from our favorite ice cream store. We took pictures of the places where we played miniature golf. We walked through the family cemetery. We sat for a moment and watched the waves or took in the beauty of the lake with the mountains as the backdrop. And, we retold stories that often began with the words “Remember when…”
For those few days, time turned back on itself.
I was a young man again with young children who laughed with joy as they jumped the waves or swam in the lake. My parents and my wife’s father were years younger again as they retraced steps in places real not only today, but real, also, in their memories of days gone by.
At least for me the experience was not one of nostalgia.
Of wishing for “the good old days.”
But one of remembering…
Which is more about the journey from then to now and of honoring and holding onto those experiences which both shaped our family then and holds our family together today.
For all of it I am deeply grateful.
For the waves and the lake and the ice cream and the cottage and the cemetery and the loons and…
For the time together…
Both then and now.