The Past

I walked up to my room today.

I have lots of memories squashed into this little place, a small room in a big house in a small neighborhood in a medium-sized city in upper-middle class suburbia that was set aside just for me when I was five. First I had white furniture and a canopy bed, then I had brown furniture and red curtains, now I have clutter-junk heaped on my floor. If only those clutter-junk heaps didn’t mean anything to me, but nostalgia sweeps away the dust and memories seep out of the “things.”

Memories piling on the bottom of my closet, memories emerging from underneath an antique poster bed that takes up too much space, memories stashed in boxes–some things are stashed in closed boxes for a reason. (Lessons learned far too late and still so many to learn too late.)

Memories etched by gel pens in bright-colored journals. Memories drawn by colored pixels hanging on the walls. Memories aroused by all sorts of clothing.

Memories of my grandmother in the canary music box; memories of my first kiss in the New York & Co. halter top with orange flowers; Memories of Wyoming rain in a Turkish scarf; Memories of life abroad and Shakespeare’s dust upon my silver sandals, English gum still stuck to the bottom of them (how did I ever traipse around the UK in those sandals?); Memories of a thesis proposal defense in a gray dress, memories of a first date in another gray dress. Memories of spunky students who said they would miss me and always remember me found in a yellow folder; Memories of Niagara Falls soaking my shoulders in a dingy navy blue tank-top; Memories of baseball games in dilapidated ticket stubs (I was so excited about those ticket stubs, once); A scarf that saw the Rocky Mountains & a scarf (or 6) purchased on a San Francisco street; leggings that were washed by the Pacific Ocean; jeans that were rarely washed the year I wrote my thesis; a hat that hiked down into the copper Grand Canyon; an ODU sweatshirt worn during movie nights with my college friends; those platform sandals that clicked-clicked-clicked down the dorm hallway (the ones I wore with sweatpants, sometimes). Memories of my cousin’s wedding in a bouquet of silken purple; memories of thrift-store shopping with mom in a stained-glass lamp. Memories of my first (and last) college party in a black, lacey top; memories of weddings in swishy, pastel dresses; memories of the excitement of high-school softball games in a royal blue jacket (how proud I was of that jacket once); memories of middle-school basketball in a fading certificate that says “D.O.B.”: distributor of bruises (what a lovely title that was). So much life found in this little room. It was on my floor I prayed to God for the first time and it was in here when I had the hardest conversation I’ve ever had in my life. Some memories I’ve tucked away in a small corner drawer and others I’ve given away; some I’ve thrown into plastic bags never to be seen again. I’ve been through some changes and so has this little place– the place where God calls me and where I answer Him, and these four walls contain the memories with which He’s shaped my soul—and now all things are new.

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