Daily Beauty, Day #7: Memories

There is something so undeniably precious about a memory. Experiences do not define us, but they also do not disappear once the laughter has faded. Memories are ours to hold… to treasure and play out in the image of the mind. A certain sadness often accompanies an end, even if the end is welcomed or expected. Perhaps this pertains to our reluctance to change, our longing to stay stagnant and at ease, without risk or worry.

But the end is not the end. Not really. Our memories belong to us. The ones we look after become a piece of who we are. There is beauty in the beauty that we now can only see in snatches, beauty in the beauty that once was and now exists only in our minds. There is beauty because no beauty, if felt, can really leave us. There is beauty, because after the experience is over, there is gratitude: the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness that God has given us good things and will continue to give if we let Him.

And yet, as I mentioned above, experiences- and memories- do not define us. We cannot let them rule the path ahead. We cannot neglect to make new memories out of fear that we cannot improve on what we already had, that undiscovered glades cannot be more beautiful than the valleys and mountains we have tread upon before.

Some memories are lingering, shimmering images of beauty. Others are dark whispers of regret or sadness. These memories, like those that brim with joy, do not define us either. They may not disappear, but we do not have to carry them with us. We can hand them to our Companion who accompanies us on the road beyond.

Memories are powerful, and beautiful, I think, if kept in their proper place. They are beautiful, I believe, if we remember what they are: gentle reassurances of the hand that guides us, and gifts that He has given us (through both difficult and jubilant moments) to join us on our journey.