My eyes fell longingly on the tiny house my six-year-old self had lived in as I passed by on the familiar sidewalk across the street, the towering trees of yesteryear draping over me as a canopy as if to protect what my memories were made of.
My little dog dancing happily at the end of her leash beside me had never walked this path before, totally oblivious to what this walk meant to me. But I had before… Many times… Years earlier and only periodically now.
My heart wanted to live down memory lane for a while again as my mom’s birthday approached. Her first birthday in Heaven.
Our ideas of life and how to live may have differed a whole lot most of the time but there were a few things that glued us together, and that warms my heart and hers I would imagine.
The tall row of mature evergreens that had been the home of me, my sister and brother s climbing adventures, were no more. The view to the small front porch was now panoramicly unobscured. It looked a lot smaller than I had remembered.
Old snapshots in my family album had me and my sister posing in homemade matching blue Spring jackets and warm toques for good measure (as Mom was always cold, and naturally we would be cold too) smiling nicely for the photographer which most likely was my dad.
My dad was the picture taker in the family. I still own boxes upon boxes of old slides as proof.. memories…treasures…the passion I believe that has passed down to me as I live behind every shot as memories are captured in time of my family and life.
The cracks in the cement driveway showed its age as it had lived through at least 50 birthdays.
I remember the evening my grandma and grandpa came with their big yellow loader and gravel truck with the family business name printed on the side door, to create the fun cement driveway I would play on for many years to come. It looked different then. Smooth, even, no cracks, uniform in colour.
Not so now 50 years later, yet it still frames the memories made on it as a little girl riding my second hand banana seat cherry red bike, back and forth. It was a magical time in my childhood.
I glanced at the living room window and my mind went back to the piano that had lived across the room against the back wall, Christmas gifts always stacked high on any surface but the keys, the vintage green sofas, and the record player with eight-track tapes held neatly and precisely in a holder on top. The 70s green curtains framed our view of the outside world in every season.
The small kitchen window was still as small as I had remembered, bringing back memories of a small 60s arbrite table with four matching chrome chairs where life was lived, morning, noon, and night. The small vintage fridge tucked into the corner held all our daily provisions, but my bigger memory brought a large bottle of brown looking cod liver oil liquid to the forefront. It was either that or liver once a month… I’m not sure that was a choice.
Many a homemade pot of soup was made at the small stove by my mom from her fresh produce in her yearly large garden. I can still smell the intoxicating aroma. A fresh green bean soup dotted with ham and of course my favorite, summer borscht which I make for my family now many years later.
As I rounded the corner into the street facing the backyard, the row of lilac bushes that seemed so enormous as a child didn’t seem quite so anymore to my eyes 50 years later. The backyard held many great memories of plays of imagination created for the neighborhood moms with all the kids of all ages. The moms came willingly from each of their homes throughout the neighborhood leaving perhaps some baking, canning, sewing or just maybe a much-needed cat nap, just to come support their kids and their excitement in sharing these plays they had created with each other.
It was a different time.
And then my eyes fell on the “big rock” now almost completely hidden by tall grass. It seemed so small now. 50 or so years earlier, I’d feel like I was living on the “edge”so far from my home as I would sit on it reading my book or just simply enjoying nature around me. It now seemed so insignificantly small, yet my memories of it were still big.
Continuing my walk with my Chyna, I came back to the present. Many memories had happened during the years we had lived here fifty years ago. Much was the same in my mind and heart but much was different in reality. Seasons change. Others now lived in the same walls I had made memories in, now making their own, completely oblivious to mine.
As much as we may want some things to stay the same, life doesn’t work that way on this planet. Seasons change, things change…people change.
But what I’ve come to know and have more understanding about it as I have more birthdays on this planet, in all my seasons of winters, springs, summers, and fall,
is the Love of my God.
The pathway to His heart has no signs of aging, no cracks in the cement showing wear and tear of it. Doesn’t matter how many years I have had.. Life changes…
But He does not.
The same Love He had for me in that tiny little house in the years of my first birthdays, is the same unimaginable love He has for me today no matter what my seasons and memories look like.
He has promised that He is the same Yesterday… Today… and Forever.
We may not see Him accurately because we may be looking back to a place where we once lived, walking down a path, perhaps away from Him, cracks and all. We may remember it all differently because it was what we saw then through the filter of our heart that may not have believed that his Love changes not.
Some memories of my childhood bring an intense warmth to my heart that will stay forever. But no matter how life has changed, and it always will,
He loves me. He loves you.
As fiercely and as vast and as deep and as grand as He has since before you were born .
I pray that I will look longingly on this Truth and have it ring truer than any other memory I have. A truth in which all my memories can be filtered through.
Go down memory lane. Reflect in the good and the hard, and when you do… paint the memory with a brush dipped in His unchanging love for you.. for me.
For as much as life changes always.. Our Rock… Our Anchor… Our Redeemer..
His love doesn’t.
Nothing has Changed ♥️