You might remember I mentioned in my last post how I’ve been travelling with family lately.
The first trip was in early November to southern New South Wales, where I visited my sister. She lives in one of just a few cottages which comprise the village, nestled in the lush Bega Valley behind the beautiful Sapphire Coast.
I spoke of whelm in my last post, and feel it creeping over me again as I sit to write. What happened while I was there?! It’s three months ago! What did we do, where did we go? So much has happened since. I can hear the woman in my head muttering as she shuffles through files in the memory vault.
If I don’t remember, then was there any point?
I close my eyes and think hard. Feelings begin to bloom. Emotions like love, contentment, joy, concern, tied to shared histories, to family, nature, gratitude. But these are non-specific. Memories have a tendency to blur and telescope. I resort to the photos I have on my PC, still waiting to be organised.
Aha! I think I have it. Looking at the photos, I’m prompted by visual evidence of the time there; the memories flood back. They’re accompanied by other sensory cues. Waking at first light to hear the dawn birdsong, the chill of the early morning air on my skin, the smell of the rich fecund earth, the taste of fresh produce and home cooking, and not least, the warm hugs from family and furry friends.
When I think about the trip this way, the things we did, the places we visited pale in comparison. Please don’t misunderstand me. I love visiting interesting places, completing fun projects and just generally hanging out experiencing a different environment.
What I’m saying is, what lies beyond all that is the reason I went in the first place. For the deep and significant meanings that memory ascribes to living a life, through our senses and emotions. That’s what I want to remember. And where my memory sometimes falters, my photos have helped me achieve that.
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
― Eudora Welty