I don’t know what got me started on this—well, actually I do. It was YouTube, but hold that thought for a paragraph or two.
I do a lot of looking back lately. I suppose that is natural when you reach the final years of your life. Oh, don’t get me wrong—I hope to be around a while yet. There is a line in a song called Bookends, by Simon and Garfunkel that wraps up one’s existence rather nicely: “Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.”
So I have lots of memories, both good and bad, but mostly in between those two ends. This is probably the normal course we all take. We experience highs and lows, but between them are the day-to-day events and happenings we treat as routine. But I have learned this is not necessarily correct.
My mother used to say, “Things that matter little, matter much.” Likewise, things routine may be routinely unique. They are the building blocks of one’s life. Our attitude may be routine, but it is the foundation of our character. Our character may be routine, but it is the formative element of our personality. One thing builds upon another, constructing the colossal structure called “me!” “Me,” as you well know, is complex and one “me” is never duplicated; no two “me’s” are ever alike. And this leads off to where I am going. Count on me to never take the direct route.
I often get snagged into watching amateur videos on YouTube. This Internet site is one of the truly beneficial media today. There isn’t a topic you can’t find on YouTube, whether it’s an instructional video on how to replace the ice maker in your refrigerator, or the brakes on your car, or a bountiful menu of human interactions. The latter present an endless stream of life’s happenings among all us “me’s.” These include personal videos of things like soldiers coming home unexpectedly and surprising their loved ones … or guys planning out and playing out their marriage proposals to their unsuspecting significant others … or the same couples a little later on announcing “we’re pregnant!” to their elated parents. It’s all there—the tears, the smiles, the wide eyes … you know, all the routine stuff.
What surfaces from many of these recorded events running on YouTube, at least for me as I look back, are the special emotions and feelings that life assigns only to the young in love. You can see it in their body language, how they look at each other and the things they say. This special stage in one’s life features all kinds of unique feelings never to be duplicated again. Sure, love can carry through endless years of a relationship, but it never again spins the inner sparkle that whirls around two young people who have newly discovered a friendship for each other that goes beyond–well, let’s just say beyond routine. There really are no words to describe it. This feeling, however, is a memory that will be left, should you choose to preserve it.