January 22, 2006

Sunday, January 22, 2006
Posting on Wednesday and weekends

Do You Remember...

When someone says that, don't you find yourself leaning toward them just a little, anticipating the connection of either a shared memory or a memory question you might well be able to answer. "Do you remember" is such a wonderful invitation!

We've talked over the past few weeks about the power of shared memories in strengthening connections and building community, and we've acknowledged the conscious effort it takes these busy days to make new memories. But it is in the reinforcing, the "Do you Remember-ing" that we see the true beauty and bounty of a shared moment or past.

Consider for a minute one situation with two outcomes, both of which I bet you've experienced:

You are driving down a county road in the springtime with a friend when you see a big snapping turtle lumbering across the road, probably pregnant and looking for a spot to nest on the swampy side of the street. You swerve around the turtle and go a little further before you screech to a stop saying to your friend, "You know the next people coming along this road, just may not miss that turtle." You back up, both hop out and head toward the slow-moving turtle,nothing but kindness on your mind; you'll help her to the other side and safety.

But of course, you also remember that snapping turtles can be well, a bit tetchy, to say nothing of vicious under the right/wrong circumstances. Somehow between the two of you, with great seriousness and much laughter, you... encourage... the turtle to hurry a bit. Then just as she starts down the bank on the far side of the road, you slip down that same banking ending up mud-covered from neck to knees. But, still laughing!

You get back to your car, get brushed off, cleaned up as best you can, still talking and joking about "rescuing" the turtle who's probably back in the swamp telling all her friends about you. And you head off, back on your way to wherever you'd been headed.

Now, here are two scenarios you may have experienced after an incident such as this: You and/or the friend re-inforce the shared memoriy with a small bobblehead turtle for the other's dashboard, or send a silly email, or make it a point to tell the story when you're both with a group of friends. All these things make you feel... how?? That the time with you hada been valued? Do these little follow-ups re-inforce the spirit of fun, connection, and even community you felt. Do these reminders bring you a bit of warmth all over again?

Or, have you experienced the second scenario... you have an experience like this with a friend, nothing world-saving or earth-shattering, but with the makings of a good shared memory, and yet, it's never mentioned again. "Oh, it's just something that happened..." Yes, that's true, but it can be much more.

So, this week, send a note (email or snail mail such a delight to receive these days!) to someone asking, "Do you remember..." or "I was thinking about you the other day and remembered..." Even better, do you have a shared memory involving two or three people who have somewhat fallen out of touch with each other? Send each that note, and maybe even end it saying "We've really got to get together and make some new memories as good as the old ones!"

Most of all, if you know someone who lost a person (or even a pet) this past year, please take a minute and send them a shared memory. Connection, community. Some things truly are priceless.


You can leave a comment on this posting by clicking on Comments below. You don't have to be a blogger, or register, or even leave your neam. Keep in touch, I'd love to hear form you!