Perfect Moments

Much attention is given to post-traumatic stress events in our lives.  Sometimes therapy is needed to debrief and at last free us from haunting memories that continue to steal our peace and joy in the present, even though the events may have happened many years ago.

As we continue coping with these days of pandemic stress and political unrest, it may be helpful to debrief another kind of memory—those perfect moments of the past that we may likely  take for granted but which are meant to accompany us and bring us joy when we take time to remember them.  These nearly perfect moments may even be the humblest of occasions.  They can be especially relished when we take time to share them with others.

One of my nearly perfect memories was a dinner prepared by Aunt Kitturah.  nearly fifty years ago.   Uncle Earl had gone fishing and came home with “a mess of crappies.”  Aunt Kit was a wonderful cook and fried these to golden brown perfection.  She made fresh creamed peas, and potato salad with crispy little pieces of celery diced up.  I think she accompanied this with homemade applesauce that had chunks of apple and a dusting of cinnamon.  Dessert was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  She served iced tea that had been brewed on the back of the stove and poured it from from a glass pitcher with a “tea towel” tied around the handle. 

I don’t know why this particular memory has stayed with me all of these years, but I remember that day when she took such pains, as she did with everything, to make us a delicious meal. I felt special and cared for, sitting with family at her kitchen table.  Remembering this perfect occasion brings me joy each time I think of it.

Meditation isn’t just about repeating a mantra or trying to keep our mind from wandering.  Allowing joyful memories to replay across the screen of our mind is a way to get in touch with what is good in our world, something so needed these days. We leave behind for a short time our present worries and fears and go to places where we have been our happiest selves.  Where might you go to remember some of your own perfect moments?