For many years, my daughters and I have spent one week, each July, with friends, in the loft of The Trading Post at Sauble Beach, Ontario, Canada. It is something we always looked forward to ~ and we always fully enjoyed.
This year, only my youngest daughter, aged 17, was able to stay for the full week; I drove her there, stayed 1.5 days and then left to return home to work.
In the short time I was there, I felt a beautiful connection to past times spent in this location. I’d watch a group of families, adults and children, enjoy an exciting game of baseball on the beach – and I’d vividly recall the after-dinner-before-sunset games of soccer that would take place immediately next to where they now played on the beach, as adults and our children, years ago.
I’d smile at the young family in a nearby cottage with two young daughters – and remember with fondness my own girls at that age, their awe at the beach, the waves, the days in the sun spent with their friends, how well they slept each night and how excited they were when they woke up the next day.
My friends and I talked about where we are today – how much has changed, what vacations here were like for us then and how they are for us now. We did not lament the passing of time, but we did feel grateful for the ghosts of our past that still roamed the beach, in our hearts.
Hi Mom, I’m okay – we’re all okay. There’s a fire. The Trading Post is on fire.
My daughter’s week in Sauble Beach was scheduled to end on Saturday, I was going to meet her and my friends at a pick-up point on their route to their own home. That all changed with her phone call, the Friday night before she was due to leave. ”
Hi Mom, I’m okay – we’re all okay. There’s a fire. The Trading Post is on fire. We’re on our way to another cottage further away. It got so big, so fast. They fear that propane tanks and fireworks in the store below may blow …”
And just like that – The Trading Post was destroyed; store and loft alike. So, too, was everything within – all possessions, all food, everything but what my friends and daughter had on them when the fire was first discovered.
The memories though, the ghosts of time past and the warm feelings they trigger – well, those still remain; they’ll be with us until we are no longer capable of accessing them.
And so it is with Life – we keep moving through it, reminded along the way that Life is dynamic in nature, fueled by change; and the only place where some things forever remain the same, is in our memories and in our hearts.