Photo Credit - Janet MacPherson Moller
Long after someone has shared space with a place, shaped it to suit their needs, danced with the demands of choice, and encountered the obscurities and complexities of blood and bone, the four walls, ceilings and wooden floors left behind pay homage to the memories created there.
While walking in the woods of Vermont this morning, I passed this collapsing dwelling sitting peacefully, a weeping container for the memories of the life of the soul that once lived there. The atmosphere around the place was quiet, almost shy. Standing there my imagination began to stir up stories and my curiosity turned to compassion. Inside was a red chair, bed springs and a table iced with decades of dust caked on by wind and rain. If I looked close enough perhaps I would see imprinted in the dust the fingerprints of a person who enjoyed the quiet of the mountains and delighted in the spaciousness of solitude, who courted their dreams and their demons with only the trees and woodland creatures as witnesses... perhaps.
We share space with that which lies just beyond our perceived reality. Memories, apparitions, emotions and thoughts all mingle together within the present moment.
The detritus of our lives and the remnants of our choices and creations settle into the leaf litter on the forest floor. Not only do we leave behind footprints, but the trees breathe in our thoughts and the birds fly upon the rhythm of our heartbeat as it blends with the electromagnetic soup we live within. Our stories live on without us. Long after we are gone they remain, attached to the thresholds, windowsills, nooks and crannies of those 'once upon a time' places where we have dwelled in the past.
Nothing is truly lost.
Although the physical form a place once took may have decayed, and the people that once laughed and cried behind its doors may have long ago rejoined the soil, the beauty and power of memory shows us that they are both now a part of the branches, the moss, the brown bat, and the butterfly -- they are of future generations, shaping and influencing, inspiring and enlivening the unfolding of that which comes next.
So, what comes next?
It's not yet time for the answer.
Now is not the time for knowing the new.
Now is the time for remembering that which once was.