Summer of 2007

I was walking after midnight to avoid the day-time August heat. August heat captures our daylight hours and holds the fortunate hostages inside their igloos.

It is the sultry heat that roasts corn stalks and scalds cement. Even at midnight, you can feel it getting ready to sizzle soon. I had waited way too late for my quiet walk, but I harnessed my dogs, locked the door,

For me at least, it is spooky walking in darkness, even in the friendliest of neighborhoods.

Here and there, lights glowed in windows; from their hiding places, the ever-constant crickets sang hallelujahs to the universal mysteries. The smell of ripeness shrouded the stillness. The thirst of longing for water still can be felt. Yet, I shivered in the 80-plus degree heat.

Darkness played games with my much too vivid imagination. So, this should not come as a surprise, for me to tell you that I had stepped into my memories as I followed my dogs’ steps.

Maybe it was the familiar smells and walking with my dogs. As I have always had dogs at my side throughout my life.

At a bend in the sidewalk beneath the cover of a tree, I slipped into my past and met who I once was. A young kid dressed in a gingham shirt and shorts, running home in the dark from Pearlie’s house with my dog, Skipper.

We were on a well-worn footpath between the corn fields that ran beside the barn, a dark barn where the cows slept. Only the Katydids and the Cicadas broke the silence. I was late and Mom would be mad. As I approached the barn, I picked up speed. The door to the hayloft was open and the darkness gawked at me. Ghost tales that had scared me sleepless when I was young came to mind as I called to Skipper to keep up.

I believe many of us take comfort and enjoy these secret recollections of yesterday. It is brought on by familiar smells; like the smell of baking bread reminds me of Grandmother Link’s kitchen with its tall ceilings; and of her standing, drying her hands on her long apron.

Not long ago, I was driving on a long winding road that I had taken often when I was sixteen, but with today’s modern highways, it had been years since I had driven it alone.

It was dusk. In a nanosecond, I felt a flash, a jolt. As I rounded the curve by the cemetery of an old regal church on Steele Creek road, I saw a girl, me, standing by a grave with a minister reading from the Bible. It was the graveyard service for our beloved minister, Dr. O. C. Williamson. I was ten years old and there was grief in the air, but I was holding my father’s hand. A feeling of warmth swept over me and just as suddenly, the feeling slipped away.

I did not take my hand off the steering wheel and please take note: I had not swallowed a substance that advises against operating heavy machinery. I was in control, but I had peeked into the past.

These moments give me great hope. It gives me great faith that all is well and the world is unfolding as it should. Even in these moments of torrid heat and unsettling, worldly events. There is hope for the future.

There is an old theory that I fondly recall. I do know not if it is true since I am not a scientist. I failed algebra. This is only my interpretation and who says I got it right…or wrong. It is kind of woo-woo, but who hasn’t had moment of deja-vu? Or been a stranger in a new place that was oddly familiar? Still, it comes to mind…sometimes.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that the observer influences what he observes. By the very act of looking we change what we are looking at…like a comfortable habit, we see what we expect to see.

It is a strange thought, but come along with me now, I mean no harm. This theory belongs in the daunting world of quantum physics. Yet, what if it was applied to everything in our daily lives?

It is a thought that gives me pause. When applied to out thoughts, thoughts, it is an extraordinary way to look at ordinary things.

Oh, the theory delves deeply into the world of microbes and atoms; formulas beyond my grasp. But it does make me question what the results would be if we adjusted how we looked at everyone and everything for a mere 24 hours. This may be unbelievable and incomprehensible, but according to the world of quantum physics, it gives us the choice of how we choose to be.

In this unbelievable and incomprehensible world we cannot see…among the whirling electrons…miracles happen, even when we are not watching.

So, even though I do not understand my flashback moments which make me feel like a time traveler rather than myself, in some way it restores my faith in the future and the eternal. It is a brief moment of peace with all that I call sacred.

Even in the record breaking heat of the summer of 2007. As we turn away from the despair of the daily news, the untruths and the truths, we must know there is no absolute truth except faith; faith that the world is unfolding as it should. All else is perception.

As we are about to step into the bittersweet days of autumn with its fading colors and last blooms, it is the time to recall and remember; and a time to know that all is well. Relax into the moment. Enjoy the taste and feel of all we do. This is all we have.

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