There is something about cycles, and the first times that appear at every revolution. The memories always come rushing back. The first snow of a year, the first day that feels like fall, the first spring day, the first day of school, the first day of summer. There are many other firsts of course, but today I am writing about summer.
Today was the first muggy, hot day of the year. It rained last night and and so as the day carried on the wetness hung around a bit in the air. The sky takes on a hazy look on days like this. The sun peers through the clouds and yet everything feels a bit hazy. It felt like summer.
This afternoon as I was sitting outside drinking coffee, watching my son play on the back deck. As I watched him working on his mission of transferring fallen buds from the trees from one end of the deck to the other, many memories came to me. The weather took me to years past and of different lives I lived. The firsts of cycles bring everything rushing back to the heart. I thought about the life I lived before I was a father, the life my wife and I lived. The hot summer days we spent on the Mediterranean. I thought about before I was married. The hot muggy nights of youth, carrying on. The places I lived. The apartments I fell asleep in. I thought about where I was a year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago. A decompression of memories auto-compressed for years.
Sometimes you work to remember things. Sometimes you intentionally bring it all back and bring it to the top. Sometimes it comes to you whether you want it or not. It is effortless. Sometimes it is images, smells or direct moments of memory. Other times it is an essence. It's in those times I feel the passing of time most acutely. I realize I am older. I don't realize it in my mind in these moments, I realize it in my heart. The cycle comes around, and I reminded by who I was and who I am today and how life is not what it was.
I am overwhelmed by gratitude to God for where I am and who I am.
Life takes us where it takes us. There are things we choose, things we control. Yet much more that we don't control. If I travel back a decade I could have never known where I would be today or where I was the past 10 years. Never. There is that saying about plans and God, you know. Each year brings new moments and new memories yet the cycle always comes around to visit us. Our clothing comes in cycles, yet if we are lucky our clothes last many cycles and stay with us as we age, grow and change.
In 10 years where will we be? On the first muggy day a decade from now will I sit outside in linen and be with my son? Will I wear this same shirt? What will we talk about? Where will we be? Some things change, yet not everything, some things we maintain and we pass on. We change yet we are the same. What is the same? Sometimes it's things we choose, sometimes it's things chosen for us. Clothes, classic style, purposeful aesthetics in our clothing and lives are a bridge in a way between who and what we were and who and what we are. We can choose this. We can control this. In a way, a quiet, gentle rejection of outside time.