One of the quiet blessings of the sequestrated lifestyle is the invitation to daydream, to wander in thought. Over the past many months, I’ve taken advantage of this opportunity, and sometimes find myself meandering off into memories about people, places and events from long ago and far away.
Those reveries have been part of my prayer life, in a practice I’ve termed “praying the map”—taking cues from maps of the country to remember the blessed folks I’ve encountered in various places in the national landscape. Because of the pandemic, though, those thoughts and prayers have somehow become more urgent—all of our lives are facing new dangers.
Over the decades of my life, the cast of revered characters has grown large—and more precious. Some of you who read these words are on that list—we have known each other for years now. The pandemic has accentuated the need—and the privilege—for the memories, the reveries and the prayers.
While roaming through the memory-side of the countryside, I ask an additional question: “What’s useful about this?”
Possible answers: There’s always the brain-strengthening utility of remembering itself. I realize, too, that I’ve come to this stage in life—to this identity and this sense of purpose—because of the folks among whose memories I have strolled. I’ve learned from you; parts of you have rubbed off on me. I hold dearly to the fact that you have tolerated and forgiven me. That together we’ve shaped and changed the world around us. That we’ve fought the good fight. That we’ve not given up quite yet. That we’ve laughed and scratched, and made each other happy.
Today you are part of those memory reveries, for which I thank you and God.
And gratitude roams among other quiet blessings….