I spent my childhood and teenage years growing up on the south side of Indianapolis in an area called Southport. My in-laws still live there and today we drove down to have lunch. All the kids joined us—a wonderful and rare treat!
As we traveled along Southport Road, I noticed familiar houses, ones that I looked at as a child and thought were especially pretty. As we came to the center of town, I saw the tiny building that used to be the post office—a one room, two window post office. And did I mention that my Aunt Edie was the Post Master? She lived around the corner in a duplex with a cobble stone fence on one side of her yard and honeysuckle bushes growing along it. (By the way, the name of the street was Shirt Tail Bend. I thought you’d like to know that.)
We crossed over the railroad tracks, one’s I used to walk on with my brothers and saw the building where my dad worked most of his life, Davidson Lumber Company. I nudged David as we passed the Dairy Queen, recalling the many times we frequented there when we were high school friends. (He liked some kind of blackberry milkshake but I can’t remember the exact name.)
Further on, I saw my grade school, Homecroft Elementary. The apartments to the east have been renovated but the house to the west looks much the same. A family named the Reeves lived there. They used to run a concession stand out of their yard during little league baseball games.
As we drove along, I saw familiar sights everywhere I looked—memories that have been stored deep down inside me, leaving an indelible imprint. Details that I didn’t even know I had remembered. It’s strange, in a way, that I remember so many ordinary, insignificant particulars from my childhood. It’s not as if I tried.
Our trip today caused me to think about the powerful ability of sight. Without being conscious, it took snapshots of my life and tucked them away in an album somewhere in the recesses of my mind. When I saw the same images again, my brain pulled the originals out of the album and I suddenly thought, “I remember that!” That’s really quite incredible, isn’t it? (This also makes me thoughtful about how hard it is to heal from traumatic memories.)
Here's a question for spiritual direction: what did you see today that brought back a memory? How might God be speaking to you through this memory?