Hiking and Entertaining Memories
The last day of summer was spent in the city of Saskatoon where I had lived while going to university at different times in my adult life. I have memories of the place from 1973 when I was en route to my teaching certificate before I became a father, and again five years later to again attend university classes as a parent with two little daughters. Both times the trails that today form the Meewasin Valley Trail system were frequently visited. Memories were a big part of hiking. The body was telling both of us to pay attention but our thoughts drifted to our years in the city which have, like these leaves, taken on golden hues.
How does one deal with memories? It seems that no sooner do we move on to new activities, new locations, new careers or new homes; our memories begin to shift-shape in curious ways. Each of us has a tendency to create stories to fit in with our perceived identity of the moment. People in these stories cease being ordinary and take on mythic qualities. Some are cast in dark roles and as adversaries. We need to use these darker than real-life characters to explain our own dark attitudes. Others are cast as light-filled beings which have aligned themselves with us against the forces of darkness.
As I walked along, I thought of the present and the people that I know, ordinary and good people for the most part with some of them a little more broken than others. No one in my present world is ready to be cast in a dark role or a heroic role. That will only happen when and if there is a shift into a new version of the present and the need to place what has passed into a new story, a new mythology that will explain how I have arrived into the new story.