Humans are sensory beings, we take in memories based on sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. It is our senses that give us cerebral memories when we hear a song, smell something that reminds us of a tasty meal or sweet treat shared with a loved one. These episodic memories make up autobiographical artifacts for us to pull from specific events in our lives, like the coffee you had with a friend or the colors from the wrapping paper of special gift. They also serve as warnings of what hurt and what to avoid, such as running into a brier patch chasing a ball during a happy game with another and then scratching yourself to pieces, because you were too enthralled with the fun, you know that burning pain! If the scratches were bad enough you might never have played that game again! Perhaps also, the sound of a bottle of beer popping open and what comes after that sound, for me anyway, is not pleasant.
Today however, we are remembering a joyful cerebral, episodic memory. Today, is for love and recalling something that made my life better. This is a story of happiness and I will not allow the bad to overshadow the beauty of my tiny pebbles.
As a child one of the very best memories I have is walking with Granny and her sister, my Great Aunt Em. Each of them would take one of my hands and we would walk to Aunt Ida’s house, to her spring, up and down the road collecting black berries near the “Little Hutty” which you will learn more about in subsequent writings. We would visit Maw at her house on the hill, Granny’s mother, or go just up beside the house to Ken and Gail’s to fill milk jugs with water to carry home. Each walk carried with more than just stepping out of the house for a spell.
As we walked my tiny feet didn’t make much sound, but Granny and Aunt Em’s did. All along the road between the Little Hutty and the main road were these tiny, multicolored pebbles that made the most beautiful crunching sound underneath the feet of my beloved Granny and Aunt Em. Those tiny brown, reddish orange and tan stones wouldn’t seem like much at all to any other passerby, but to me they meant time, love and care. Those were things I needed and always received with Granny. Each little stone that crackled meant a step taken with me and for me. Each seemingly minute stone helped to build security and a fortress of happiness with the two people who cherished me as much as I cherished them.
Sometimes after a nice rain shower the pebbles made a soft slush sound as they shifted along our path. I loved that sound too, I still do. There have been times as an adult, with a now heavier body that I’ve walked along a little stone covered path and heard that beautiful music of the crunching sound of the tiny pebbles. The sweet sound of nature and love resounding underneath the weight of a little walk, oh how lovely it is.
God gave us our senses for a reason, for the learning of what is pleasure and what is pain. We can take the moments of good and unwrap them, as gifts to carry with us long past the age when we first received them. We can pull the moments out when we need them most. I will always need my tiny pebbles and when I am taking one of my beloved walks through the woods or along a creek bed and find those little reminders of the loving walks with Granny and Aunt Em, I will linger there, listening to the tiny rocks crackle and sing to me. I’ll walk back and forth until my heart feels full.
I pray you are blessed with tiny pebbles dear reader, multitudes of them. May you have them and give of them freely to those whom you love. The very best gifts of life do not come from a store, they come from the heart.
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