I woke up early on Sunday morning to a slight knock at my front door.
As I laid in my bed, groggy with sleep still on the forefront of my mind and dreams still lingering in the back, I got up, pulled my robe on tight, and walked downstairs.
As I moved though my house and down to my front door, the knocking continued.
When I got to the door, I opened it slightly and peeked my head out to see who it was. I saw my past standing in the doorway. I said nothing. with a shameful look on my face, I invited my past inside without a word. We needed to talk, and I knew it. It was time.
I led my past to the deck and my past had a seat. I went to the kitchen to prepare tea for both of us. I filled the tea kettle with water, turned on the stove, and began to prepare a setting for two. Two teacups, two spoons, sugar, milk, and variety of teas because I had no idea which kind of tea my past prefers. I didn’t know how long my past would be visiting so I didn’t offer any breakfast. I just knew it was time to sit down and enjoy tea. Together.
When I’d answered the whistle and our water was hot, I put our tea on a tray and took it outside. I took a seat next to my past. We sat close. We both had the same view of the still water, which was also barely awake.
I handed my past some tea, took some for myself, and together with hot cups in hand, we sat back looking at the water and enjoying the silence and the sunrise for a just bit. As the sun began to creep up, and the coolness of the early morning air lingered, we began to talk.
Before I knew it our arms were linked together, and we were walking down memory lane. We visited so much. The good, the bad, the necessary, and the not so necessary. We found ourselves laughing. On the verge of crying. Talking seriously and then laughing again. We walked and talked. We looked into the years of my life as if they were windows.
I saw mistakes and regrets. I saw happy times and sad times. I saw my amazing kids, friends, and family.
We got nostalgic…
That Saturday night in late December: sitting on the top of the Ferris Wheel waiting for other passengers to load the ride. We saw the lights of the decorated park for the holiday. The trees covered in colorful lights. The oversized ornaments hanging perfectly to tell a story. Children’s laughter and parents chatting—everyone having fun. The train in the distance making its way around the property. The sights, sounds, and smells coming together to produce an amazing memory. As the ride became full, started going around, and the cold New England air rushed us, we sat closer and took each other in. Fried dough and hot chocolate were to follow, and they did. We bounced around that park taking pictures, happily finding our way around in a new place and with each other. We were fearless with the buds of love growing between us.
Then, my past and I were slapped awake with the reminder of the last day together. The name calling. The throwing of objects. The way I felt when it was all over. When I saw the back of his head leaving for the last time. We talked about the feelings and the memories from those years in particular. What I would have changed and what I would not have changed. We agreed and disagreed. And then we moved on.
My past and I have not met in a while. I tend to remember things differently than my past does.
I see the good and my past helps me to see the big picture. To help remind me that yes, there were good times, but there were also bad times and those are the memories that remind us why things change and life moves on. My past showed up to remind me of how I got where I am. How long and hard I had to fight to become who I am today. My past reminds me of lessons and of love. How love feels and how it does not feel.
My past reminds me of roads traveled and the roads I still need to walk. I need to walk some alone, and others I don’t. But my past reminds me that I can walk alone if I need to, and that’s okay.