Memory: Gift of Life

Memory details may often fluctuate as we remember certain times, places, people, and events. Yet, a cherished memory remains true to the foundation of character, its lessons and Life.


I lovingly remember my Mother’s Father, Poppa and my Mother’s Mother, Granny. I so enjoyed their company as I grew up. One memory of Poppa are the walks we took together. A memory of a walk stays me even after about 64 years. I am guessing I was 5 to 8 years old.

One morning we went for a walk in a wooded area close to their home. I recall a stream on the bottom of a small, natural trench surrounded by many trees – pines, oaks, and maple as well as underbrush and grasses. We walked a path on top of this natural trench. Poppa picked up an acorn and with his pocketknife gently opened the seed. He held it in his palm, bending over so my smaller frame could see what was inside.

His comment to me that this small acorn has inside of it the potential to grow into a large oak tree has stayed with me all these years. Our eyes then turned upward to view the oak tree we were standing under. From that little acorn grew a huge (particularly for me as a young boy) tree that seemed to touch the sky. I must have been amazed and in awe because I remember that encounter with my Poppa to this day. I remember with great affection that kind old man, his large and tender hands holding mine and presenting to me a great story that filled my mind and soul that day. What a wonder!

This memory likely has some flaws as to dates, where the wooded area was and the presence of a stream. Yet it is all so real to me. Did Poppa also mention that God was inside that acorn? Probably he did as he was a minister in a small Protestant denomination – The Evangelical Covenant Church.

As I look back on that remarkable day, I have taken with me to this day that God (choose a Holy name among the many hundreds of names for the Holy One) resides in all things great and small, seen and unseen, invisible and visible, here on earth and throughout the Universe.  What a wonder to ponder!

My wife and I saw the animated Disney movie ‘Soul’ the other day. One of the things that really struck me was when the main character, though embodied with another soul! watched a ‘helicopter seed’ from a Maple tree gently whirling to the ground. He picked it up, held it in the palm of his hand. His eyes seemed amazed in wonder and his whole body was attentive to the seed. Everything else had disappeared to him. His attention was totally on that little seed and its motion.

There are many acorns and helicopter seeds in life. Some we pay attention to and ponder their

Divine, life-giving importance while at other times in our lives we may pay little or no attention to

these wonders of life. Yet, these acorns are Gifts of Life waiting to be unwrapped, pondered, and held dear.

What memories do you recall that may have given you a sense of Life – the inner and the outer parts of Life? You may not have realized the lesson at the time, but perhaps a look back of memory – faded or flawed but nevertheless one that taught you something about character, the important values of Life and of the presence of Spirit. What do you find life-giving?

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