Over the week­end I made a fly­ing vis­it to Canberra. I was very hap­py to get a shift at a hos­pi­tal there overnight and for­tu­nate­ly for me they even paid for the air­fares to get me there and back. I took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to spend some time with my fam­i­ly and it was par­tic­u­lar­ly great to see my lit­tle niece who could say my name and want­ed to play with me. While there I went with my mum and dad to see the hot air bal­loons which were part of the Canberra Day fes­ti­val. When I was lit­tle we would go every year (or so I recall) to see the hot air bal­loons as they took off on Canberra day. The feel of a brisk Canberra morn­ing, and the roar of the burn­ers as they filled the bal­loons with hot air will for­ev­er lie in my mem­o­ries asso­ci­at­ed with wear­ing my par­ka, fol­low­ing the bal­loons until they land­ed, wak­ing up to hear the bal­loons land­ing across the street from our house and hav­ing fun fam­i­ly time with mum, dad and my sister.

As I looked at my niece I won­dered what it is that mem­o­ries are made of. She has a life­time to cre­ate mem­o­ries and asso­ci­a­tions both good and bad which she will keep com­ing back to over and over again. And then there are the lit­tle things, the incon­se­quen­tial times in life which one moment in time can jog ones mem­o­ry of. Like when I saw the bal­loons this week I remem­ber this one time when we had a par­tic­u­lar new car and we fol­lowed the bal­loons as they went over the nation­al library and then we went into the city to the shops after see­ing the bal­loons, and the time we met some dis­tant rela­tion who brought a huge miche­lin man hot air bal­loon to Canberra one year and we spent the morn­ing talk­ing to him while all the hot air bal­loons came up around us.

Memories can be great, but some­times we have to remem­ber not to live in the past, but to keep on look­ing for­ward and cre­at­ing new mem­o­ries for our futures.

I have this quote on my desk in front of me and it seems vague­ly relevant:

Life can only be under­stood back­wards, but it must be lived for­ward. ‑Kierkegaard

About Gillian