A trip down memory lane…

The sun sets on another day…

A a constant writer I am always thinking about the past, the present, and the future along with dozens of permutations of fiction and non fiction. From time to time I come upon a moment that leads me to a path of retrospective thoughts and considerations. These thoughts can examine my past both near and distant. Last night I considered the distant past and the effect it has had on my writing and on me as a whole.

As I sat last night I considered my childhood in Michigan. Now, I was never a full time resident but I did spend summers and some winters in mid Michigan, and learned a great deal about life and myself. I also became strong from living in Michigan. I know people who spend great deals of money at the gym. I can say with surety that spending a month or so splitting wood with a maul and a wedge will build more muscle than a considerable time at the gym. After thinking about all of this last night I wanted to share some thoughts about what Michigan taught me realizing that it was not the place, but the place, the time and the people that taught me.

My childhood in Michigan taught me:

  1. True friends are forever. They can fade or wane, but a year can pass and suddenly you are friends like yesterday. These are the friends we should find and enjoy.
  2. Hard work is easy when you have friends helping. Whether bailing hay or splitting wood. Time passes quickly and work is never a chore when you are working together.
  3. There are no limits in life except those you place on yourself. Need to climb a massive tree or walk in pitch blackness, you can do so if you believe you can.
  4. In the country, games prepare you for anything. I haven’t met a lot of people who played army with BB guns and were tied up in the barn upside down with binders twine, but the ones I have met are great people.
  5. Nothing is wrong with nature. When I was  in Michigan we ate wild berries and rhubarb and didn’t have to whine for food. Nature provided. Sure, mosquito bites happened but we were moving so much there weren’t many. Leech stuck on you? Salt wins, and so it goes. We solved our problems unless they were really really big, which was never.
  6. Fear was lost. Fear is often one of our biggest obstacles in life. Try sledding down a hill with ravines on either side and pushing each other off. Boys and girls alike zipped into the air, got out of the snow and walked back up to try again.
  7. Acceptance is easy. We were kids, we had fun, and we enjoyed every moment of the day with each other. There were no stigmas, just each other.
  8. Honor was above all. I am not sure why but in the area my grandparents lived the idea of duty and honor was more than just a series of words. My grandfather believed with all his heart that each of us should be the best person we can be. He instilled me with a lot of good traits, and a lot of great traits.
  9. Nothing is better by a fire than good friends, but second is a good book. Campfires, bonfires and the fireplace all make for exciting eves, with stories galore and the sounds of nature jumping through your ears. If you are alone, there is always a book to keep you company and enjoy the night with, indoors our out.
  10. Peace is a night in the woods. Lose the cars and trucks and lights and you have peace, silence, and a slice of heaven all around you. So it was for me in Michigan.

Now, don’t take this list as all inclusive, but as I considered my youth last night I realized that a lot of why I am the way I am today was based on these times in Michigan, and my grandparents. It has been over 30 years and I still miss them always, but last night like many other nights I found them in my heart.

So as the sun sets on another day. What made you who you are today?  Was it a feeling, an event or a series of events that showed you a path that you had to take. Did you find your way to somewhere amazing simply because of a place or a person, or did you find your way some other way. Take a moment, step into the past, and walk down memory lane. Then step out of the past into now and make tomorrow your best day ever, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love today, and make today the most amazing day ever…


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