A while ago I was flipping through old pictures of when I was a baby and a toddler and a little kid. Pictures of cousins and beaches and laughs. Each photograph reaches into the back of my mind, a place I rarely touch, and grab a memory. It holds it and refuses to let go.
I see a picture of me and my cousin peeking through the playground and I giggle like a six-year-old. We’re so cute! And there’s a picture at the beach of my sisters and cousins creating mounds of sand that try to resemble castles and bridges. There’s a picture of me and my grandma biking when I was maybe 5–I’m waving my small, chubby hand like a princess. Every time I see a picture, it brings me back down memory lane. Maybe I don’t remember that exact picture, but it captures family and innocence in a way nothing else can.
Right now I can hear cousins discussing the game Cops and Robbers. Thuds of feet running around reach my ear. My sister is lying on a bed, taking pictures of her guitar for some reason. It’s been years since those photographs were taken, but right now I’m living my own little memory. There are picture-less memories of having a Lord of the Rings marathon at midnight and playing Balderdash and laughing our faces off at two in the morning and getting soaking wet from ocean waves.
The great thing is that memories are never finished. There are memories of when I was four years old and memories from when I was thirteen years old. Different memories, of course, but memories none-the-less. There will be memories from when I’m twenty and when I’m fifty-two. Memories will never be done.
My cousins plan on going to the beach sometime today. Memories flood through my mind as I think of jumping waves and hopping around in the sand when I broke my ankle. I can’t wait to re-live memories…and to create new ones. Memories demand to be lived.