Looking back on our lives can be a valuable experience.
In some ways, memories are like small towns along a highway. You’re in the dark until all of sudden, you round a corner onto Main Street, where the memories are waiting for you like the inviting lights in a late-night diner.
It’s often late at night on a dark country road when people and places, both remembered and imagined, become the sparks that light the memory defining our lives.
As my wife and I glide through the black night on Union Cross Church Road, we cross a small creek, and it hits me. I see the long-gone millpond, the house with five fireplaces, and the mill itself. I see the shadows of three young girls, my mother and her two sisters, picking beans in their garden. Next, I remember the place as it was when I was young, an old, crumbling concrete dam with trees growing in the former millpond.
The memory fades as fast as it comes, and the dark road continues on into the night.