Nostalgia has been described as the memory of a wound, and it’s sometimes this thought that I reflect on when my children cry upon hearing native flute music or even “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. They can’t bear it, and both of them tend to react to the same types of songs, asking me to please turn it off, and fall into my chest in a heap of tears.
There’s something very tender about the things which affect our emotions, and it may have something to do with our connection to and yearning for the eternal, which lives inside of us, but can be difficult to pin down in words.
I believe there is a part of us that remembers things from so long ago that we can’t acknowledge them without a bit of confusion- but we know that we are somehow connected to events, people, places in the past. It’s when we get lost in the reverie that we feel strongly tied to something much greater than ourselves, or our experiences thus far in this lifetime.
I’ve drummed for hundreds of women, and there are always some who feel very at home in the outer realms, and do not wish to return when the callback sounds. That sense of home is always calling to us. If we can allow ourselves to know that it is there, and that it lives inside of us, always on the ready to radiate it’s light outward, it may bring a comfort. Sometimes only the comfort of the eternal will do.
A couple of weeks ago my dad came to help us stack a LOT of hay in the barn for winter. Forty-four tons, to be exact, which is a mega-youknowwhat-load. He came in snuggled into a San Francisco airport sweatshirt on a ninety-degree day and went immediately to bed. After two days of me asking a million questions and him feeling terrible, we went to ER. It was quickly determined that he had a UTI and was put on IV antibiotics, fluids and checked in. After ultrasound, it was discovered that his non-functioning kidney was still just producing enough urine to be pesky, and two stones were stuck in the ureter, blocking the flow- and he’d need to have a stent put in. You need to also know that he’s had three surgeries this year to blast the stones which fill his other kidney, the only working one, which has taken a toll on it’s health and functionality. This man has two stents in the main artery of his heart and now one in each kidney. Flow. Flow. The lessons are not lost on me.
A four day stay at a resort-like hospital here in Redmond caused him to miss his flight home and so we got to keep him a extra few days. Being mostly laid up, all we had to do was tell stories about his childhood and the way things were “back then”. Stories about hunting deer in Oklahoma, and his family’s migration to California, how grandma wanted to keep him back there and send him to school, but his mama and daddy wouldn’t allow it. More stories about pranking guys in the grocery store he started working in at thirteen, and all of the men he looked up to and occasionally got taken advantage of.
I think the memories which cause us the most joy also cause the most pain. We beautiful humans are yearning creatures, knowing the safety of the womb, fearing the call home and also knowing it. We can recognize it in one another in fleeting moments, when space and time stop and recall is clear.