Mind Matters — Memories, Dreams, and Reflections

Excuse me using the title of Carl Jung’s autobiography as my header here. Nevertheless, it is apropos, I think. You see, in a month we will be selling our house and moving north to, if no the call of the wild, to the call of the wonder—of a grandchild.

For thirty years, I have lived and worked in Chadds Ford. Like Carl Jung, my office has been in my home. Unlike Carl Jung, who had a lot of help, I juggled hours between family and profession. Family dinners were a mainstay, but after we ate, I would often return to my office while the children did their homework.

Thinking about how important dinner was, reminds me of how figural our dining room table was to all the events in our lives. Large and sturdy, that table witnessed many stories, and even more celebrations: Christmas parties, Easter feasts, Thanksgiving dinners, baptisms, birthdays, communions, confirmations, showers, and a wedding too.

In our downsizing, this silent solid sentry in our lives needed a new home. Fortunately, the table now resides in my son’s dining room.

Other furniture is gone too, and I am sorting through the layers of the years, taking down the photographs from the walls, unearthing albums of memories from nooks and crannies. The archaeological dig of decades includes diving through my parents’ letters, journals, cards, and clippings—all the boxes that I stuffed away when they died twenty years ago. Never found stacks of money, but I have found emotional treasures—love letters, for example, and photos never seen. Even found some copies of the newspaper my father published in the 1930’s. they were well written, with a great layout. “Good job, Dad!” I mused.

Baby clothes, old toys, swim team medals, and those ubiquitous athletic trophies added to the collision of memories.

So I reflect on the memories, considering the choices that were made and the ripple effects they created. If I lived another thirty years, I’d be 100! At forty, we don’t think about what thirty years ahead will portend. Work and parenting fill our days. At seventy, the path narrows. However, there are always dreams. My dream for the future is to enjoy family and friends, to work a little less and play a lot more.