I do not remember where I saw these words, but when I first read, “the past is always present” I loved them. A play on words that contradicts itself, and yet is so true as we live our lives.
I love the past concerning my childhood (although, there was that time I got stung by like a gazillion bees just because I listened to the advice of Mr. Dressup … HE was wrong about standing still … but, I digress).
I love the past of my teenage memories (most of them … there was that time I mistakenly tucked my skirt into my undies, and then walked on a busy road to my grandmother’s place, with my back end in the forefront … but, I digress).
I love the past of my heritage (I grew up on the east coast of Canada, in a family who have been there for, literally, hundreds of years).
I love the past of my marriage (I have the most fantastic memories of vacations, and planning for vacations … that is something we are good at together).
I love the past of my children being born, and growing up (each stage is so full of novelty and excitement).
What I do realize, though, is that although the past is … past, it is still here, in the present. It is part of who we are today, how we think, and how we react. It is the reason we anticipate some events, as well as the reason we feel anxious about other events. When I see or hear a bee, I immediately respond (at least inwardly) due to my being stung as a child … that memory of the past is always there.
The past can keep us from making the same mistakes too. There is not a time that I am wearing a skirt or dress that I do not, consciously, check to ensure that the back end of … me, is covered up.
Pride in my country, and the part of it where I come from are a result of the place I grew up and the cultural expectations I experienced there.
Every time I see a tent on a green, grassy hill, I remember a memorable vacation with hubby.
Every time I see a woman, pregnant for the first time, I glance at her eyes, and know that, once that baby is born, no future decision will ever be the same, because she will never again be the same.
The past is always within us, even today. Our choices today will have impact on how we live tomorrow … and each tomorrow after that.
The greatest consequence of the past is that we remember. We remember experiences, we remember joys, we remember hurts, we remember what we have conquered, and what has conquered us. The past IS always with us, so we need to live today acknowledging the long term consequences of our present.
“Choose well. Your choice is brief, and yet endless.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe