Where's that little girl?

Recently I began the process of backing up all our old photos and videos to google photos. And I came across photos of me in various stages of my childhood.

As I contemplated my history, there are a few things I noticed. First, I was flooded with memories from the past, almost to the point of sensory overload. Second, I began having lots of dreams that took me back to those times. I had dreams of my childhood home, old friends, and some of those experiences. And third, I began to wonder what happened to that little girl?

Now, of course I know what happened. But I mean, sometimes I look at photos of myself as a young girl and I can’t even believe it’s me. And that all the experiences of those times were just as real and tangible as the ones I’m having now. And some day, I’ll look back on pictures of me now and think the same thing!

Time is tricky.

And now as a Mom, I wonder what memories my boys will take with them? Will they remember how angry they got at me when I forced them to do their school work? Or when they realized that their first crush didn’t reciprocate their feelings? Or will the memories that stand out to them be something that has slipped by my awareness?

And as I look through my photos and consider the passage of time, my mind goes to my parents and our shifting relationship. I am blessed to have parents who live close by, so along with a daily call to my Mom, I try to visit them weekly. And I notice the slow decline of their health and how my Dad has gone from a robust man just seven years ago to a more frail version of the man I’ve looked to for strength my entire life.

And my mind goes to a scary place, a time when they’re no longer on the earth for me to visit. But as much as it scares me, I’m also very curious. The same way the memories of my childhood still live in my reality, will the energy of my parents stay with me? And what is reality after all?

Once when I was upset about not being able to participate in the culmination of my graduate studies in Spiritual Psychology, the head of the program offered me some words of wisdom that really have stuck with me: Isn’t it the experience that really matters?

True, the little girl is long gone, just like eventually I’ll be gone. But hopefully, the experiences that I’ve created here will last beyond my physical existence. Events and people may come and go, but it seems there’s an energy that experiences ride on, a feeling. And nothing, not even time, dissolves that energy.

So now as I look back on those images of me, I try to hold on to that energy and tuck it in a safe place inside. Even share it with those I love. And hopefully, it will carry forward way beyond my children and their children. And the story goes on…

In loving,

Sarah

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