Sustaining Winter Roses

     Peter Pan author JM Barrie is credited with saying ‘God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.’
     Kathleen Yale wrote that our memories ‘may haunt us or sustain us, but either way, they define us: without them, we are left to wander alone in the dark.’
     This spring I have been granted an entirely wonderful memory making opportunity. I am sharing and caring with chosen family labelled ‘grandchildren’. I am very aware that we are creating the stories that will carry forward – either in joy or not – throughout lives that will outlast mine.
     Memories are souvenirs for people who were not there, and reminders for those who cannot return. I have identified four simple ways anyone can implant happy memories.
     1). Doing something new together. My lovely granddaughters live a modern life that depends greatly on the automobile. I am blessed to have time to walk outdoors with them. We have watched the snow recede and the buds and leaves appear on the trees. For the first time in their lives they are tracking the progress of birds building nests, plants growing shoots, and blossoms unfurling.
       2). Going somewhere new together. There are walking paths nearby which have seen our feet for the first time ever. They are learning about shortcuts and scenic routes that are not obvious without time to explore.
       3). Learning. As a skill like the game of Cat’s Cradle is transferred from my experience to that of my grandchildren, so the memory of that lesson will remain. Maybe one day they will pass it down another generation or two, and memory will extend. 
      4). Recognizing the importance of ‘older’ stories. The youngsters love to hear and hear again the tales their family members tell about life in their youth. Other grandparents tell stories, sometimes over and over in response to the pleading of the children. With each retelling, these family sagas are entrenched in the minds of the children, no doubt one day, they will repeat them, spinning a true oral history of the family.
     All we ever have is the Here and Now. When we use our time for making memories, we provide a connected context which can make future Nows comfortable and familiar and informative.
     Every story we tell in the Now becomes a memory to treasure and share.
     Every teaching carries love and gratitude for the teacher, far into the future.
    When we create a memory today we sustain ourselves in the future. Make a memory like JM Barrie’s rose, and enjoy it every day, every season, forever.

     Jo Leath has been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
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