It is the ordinary architecture, the everyday bridges we drive over and over and over again we will, in the end, remember with the most love.
Most of our tiny snippets of memory don’t get remembered. Like that morning so many years ago when I was overheard saying “I don’t like going nowhere and not even knowing where nowhere is.”
This is what I grumbled many years ago as several friends and I walked on some random street in New York City, desperately seeking an egg cream to drink.
I was a cranky, early twenty-something then – me without the wisdom that was to come later born from pain and angst and loss.
I finished writing that sentence and I look up and over my laptop screen to see my neighbor of twenty five or so years is wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Grateful.” Earlier today I might have smirked until I started writing this brief essay.
If I were to die tomorrow and the newspaper reporter called her for comment, what would she say?
“Julie loves Tulip Magnolia trees. She was excited to see the Valentine’s present my husband Robert gave me and made a point to compliment me about it.”
The other memories we share are of different flavors: sour, scratchy, bitter, wistful and early on in our neighbor relationship, optimistic.
It is always the right time to build new bridges, to repair those that are less crumbly, the bridges that will get us from where we have been to where we want to be… or we just go back and forth and back and forth and both are brilliantly significant and well loved. Open your heart to remember the good – and craft the better from what might not have been so empowering before.
It isn’t too late to recognize the glory of the ordinary.