Time traveling

I felt like the Time Traveler today.

I was driving down I-430 with the heat blasting, listening to music, still groggy from not drinking quite enough coffee, wishing I’d stopped at Starbucks for a cafe breve.

Suddenly, I stood in the shadows of gigantic pine trees, the moonlight casting shadows on me and everything else behind them. It was 39 degrees. Stars shivered through the fog of my breath every time I exhaled. In my pocket, I clung to a tiny gold star covered in glitter, turning it over and over in my fingertips.

There have been other times when memories have taken me back instantly to places I’ve been before, without warning or obvious reason. It amazes me how clearly I can refeel moments, whether they happened yesterday or 20 years ago.

Like the time I was 16 on summer vacation in Wichita, Kansas, standing in a 150 year-old barn in the middle of a field looking out of a second-story window, the wind whipping through my long straight hair. I can still smell the storm coming.

Or the moment I sat across from a 9 year-old boy in Putian, China, as he played a violin without saying a word while a government official told the story of his parents’ tragic death which led him to the orphanage where he  lived. I still feel the sadness crush into my chest the same way I did that moment when silent tears streamed down both our faces as we stared into each other’s eyes.

Maybe other people refeel things just as vividly as I do. Maybe this is why so many of us write.

6 thoughts on “Time traveling

  1. That’s amazing. Yet more amazing is when a simple passage such as this can cause a flood of memories to flow back. It made me think of the little shoe shine boy that I met in Parque Central in Guatemala my first trip. He amazed me speaking three languages and a personality to steal the heart of any man. 4 years later in the same park I encountered a boy that was asking for money with the same confidence and demeanor as the child so many years ago. If you could see Alex’s face as I called him by name.

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  2. my memories are as vivid as yours are, I remember when i was 17, leaving the Benton library when it was in downtown, and walking down the sidewalk to my car carrying some books. I looked up into the grey sky and sighed so deep, wishing it would snow. I love memories that are like that, just ones that stand out in your mind.
    It’s awesome you used to live in China? that’s cool you got to travel so much as a child i never did much.

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