I’m starting this on Friday night, but it will be my Saturday’s post. Mom and I will be busy tomorrow, and I’d rather get this done early.
I am feeling thankful tonight, and I know I am one of the luckiest people around. A friend and I drove down to the ocean today, and we took a route that I always drove to get to our summer cottage on the New Meadows river. I hadn’t been down that road in many, many years, and I was transported immediately to the summer of 1977. The music played in my head, and I had a sudden, sharp feeling of time gone by. But mostly I was happy to see the old route again, and I only cried a little — laughed a lot more.
At one point, I said to my friend, “I always thought my life would be happier.” He asked if I was feeling unhappy, and I said, “No. I don’t know quite what I meant by that. I didn’t have a whole lot of reason to feel that life would be happier than it was in the years when I spent significant time at the cottage. I tried to figure out where the words came from — my friend asked me to explain, but I really couldn’t do so. That idea had sprung into my head, and connected to my vocal cords, and popped out of my mouth.
This led us to a conversation about the value of thinking about the past. He seemed convinced that memories of unhappy times are important, because they help identify us. I answered that thinking about past hurts was one way I was anchored in my depression; that letting go of those memories was more important to me, even supposedly innocuous memories like the one I had just stated. We disagreed, but then we often do. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the beautiful summer day, and drove all the way to Fort Popham before heading home. On the way home, we stopped a couple of times so I could pick some Queen Anne’s Lace for Mom. Then my friend dropped me off, and I came upstairs and had a lovely nap. A day for which to be very grateful.
When I combine a nice ride like that with all the other reasons I have to be grateful: my family and friends, my continued reasonable health, living in this great apartment in a beautiful Maine city, I can see I am the luckiest woman in the world.