Every moment we are here, we accrue a past as the next moment arises. Memories, friends, images, paperwork, things. No matter how zen we make our selves, no matter how minimalist the surface, we all carry the past with us.
This is just a trusim, the foundation of our lives. The story of our days. We cannot change the forward motion of time. Most of the time we don't even think about it.
But imagine, if you will, those cases where stroke or neurological impairment or disease wipes out memory. Not being able to remember the people we loved. Not knowing when or where we are. Losing our language. This is not something we would wish on anyone.
The past doesn't have to haunt us, doesn't have to rule us. Our possessions do not need to take control. We can learn to curate the past and bring forward only that which serves us. But our pasts matter, they carry meaning and weight. Memory is an important tool in our day to day living, from the mundane ("where did I put the car keys?") to the sublime ("Oh yes, this is the kiss of the person I married" which draws us closer with each subsequent kiss).
Today, I am thinking of someone very close to me who is seeing a neurologist today for testing and hoping that her fears will be assuaged and that all will be well.
Today, I am thankful for my memory, for the blessing of time, for my past.
Today, I carry my past forward into the present, into this moment and I give thanks for who I am.