My last post came off a little disjointed. I sought to make a point of living in the present and yet made much of being where you are loved, a thing that can take you to new places or bring you back to the old. Hopefully one is loved in one’s current place, but it is entirely possible that is not the case. Besides the world is wide and often the place we are in is not where we are meant to be.

My larger point was really that we cannot let our past define us, unless it is not truly our past as was the case with the young woman I wrote of in my last post, who could not bring herself to look at a place she was meant to be when she could not yet be there. Even here when she did find her way back and a place of the past became the present, she found herself where she would need new dreams and new visions.

Just as we can’t come back to a place without creating new realities, neither can we define any of the new places in our lives with a recreation of the past. Such a thing is indicative of our refusal to live in the moment and be fully present to those that inhabit our moments with us or it is a thing that points to the reality that we left our past behind without fully forming the stories that belong not only there, but should be ongoing in the present. In these matters, the former needs our correction and of the later I will say only that is truly sad for it resides in the terrible realm of regret.

We can learn from experience….that is life’s most obvious lesson. We say this most often when we learn from the school of hard knocks, but it is equally true of those moments of our bliss.

Of our experience, we can debate how much control we have of these things. We can talk about “playing the hand we are dealt” and let that rationalize a stasis in life making us complacent to things that should not be. Or we can go about saying our life is only ours and see everything as “taking the bull by the horns.”  This produces more control, but it is ultimately selfish and produces no lasting happiness. Like it or not your life is not only yours…..but I will not unpack that statement here.

All of this is really to give a little clarity to my last post. It comes with the hope everyone can celebrate the present and for those who cannot, it comes with the hope of looking forward whether that means finding a new place or going back.

You can’t do anything about where you have been except be thankful and learn. The deaths, breakups, loss of friendship, and hurt still stand and are forever a part of you. So are the early mornings watching the light fill your room and slow walks holding another’s hand on the city streets. These belong to you just as seeing the ocean and breathing mountain air or watching a child born. All of these things, even the bad ones, belong to our eternal summers and the place called home. Our only task becomes to see these where we are or go to the place where they may be.

Image:  Put-In-Bay Ohio in 1985, a place of the past that gave me lessons for the future.