I also remember the day after Thanksgiving when I learned how to downhill ski. We lived just outside of Kimball, which has a little bump of a ski hill called Powder Ridge. My brother-in-law who was on the ski team in high school let me use his old Olin Mark IV’s that were orange and some bright yellow boots. I looked like a pro. Steve was a very patient teacher, and within an hour I made it all the way down that little hill without falling. That was the day I claimed my identity as a Minnesotan.
There is always a dull ache in my heart underneath the laughter that these memories often evoke. And although I don’t enjoy what feels something like sadness, there is also something to appreciate, if not savor. Just what that is depends on the moment remembered, but generally speaking, it’s something like the depth of connection to people and places and times that have formed and shaped me.
My brother-in-law still kids me about how many times I fell down that day. My kids know the story of the twisty tie in the dressing at Grandma Georgie’s so well that at Thanksgiving, somebody always warns my wife to check her dressing. Perhaps it is in this way that God uses our journeys into nostalgia to remind us of how we have arrived in the present moment. And in the present we realize that this might be a day our kids or niece or nephew experience something that will never leave them. And perhaps one day as they wipe away a tear in the middle of the laughter going around the table, they come to understand that the love they and we have shared also endures.
Keep the Faith,