As I was walking my dog this morning, little did he know that I was strolling down memory lane. While we were walking or should I say stopping and starting as my dog reacquainted himself with the neighborhood, I was recalling the families who had once called these houses home. Some of these families are still in the area and we occasionally see them out and about. They no longer live in these specific houses, but they still live in the same town. For others, I have no idea where they ended up. They simply moved away at some point. Like ships passing in the night, we drifted away from each other. Although, when I see their old houses my mind goes back to bike rides, play dates and sleepovers of days gone by.
As I was standing outside of one of these houses, I realized that the people who presently call this house their home, have no idea of the lives that have lived there before them. As I looked at one specific front yard I could remember all of the landscaping that has since been removed. As I looked at another house I could remember the Auburn flag that used to fly by the garage. I could even see the old flag hook in the concrete wall that used to hold that flag. Still another house I remembered where a bench used to sit that served as a meeting place for the kids. These are my memories of life. Nothing profound, just the day-in-day-out comings and goings of a life well lived.
As I walked, taking this all in, I was able to transport myself through these front doors and into the houses that I remember. Did the present residents realize that the guy who walks his dog every morning is able to describe the layout of their house? Did they know that I have been in their pool? As I thought of such things I began to feel as if I were carrying out some sort of home invasion. All-be-it a home invasion of days gone by, since I have no idea how the current occupants have decorated or remodeled their houses.
These houses now have new personalities, new souls dwelling within them. Some of these houses have had several new personalities, new souls dwelling within them since we moved into the neighborhood. These houses are now their homes and someday there will be someone walking their dog, remembering this present life. Totally unaware of the life that I am presently remembering. Just like the people who walked their dogs passed these very same homes years ago, when my memories were first being formed. They remembered the personalities, the souls dwelling in these very same houses that I never knew.
This led me to think about my very own house. Yes, we have lived in our home for 21 years, but before us there was at least one other family that I know of. I am sure if any member of that family were to walk past our house today, they would be flooded with memories of how it once was. The landscaping, the cars in the driveway, and the color of the house have all changed, but their memories would still be fresh and alive. Just as my memories are fresh and alive on this morning, as I walk my dog.
I was reminded on this walk that life is what you make it. Yes, there are pieces of what was and hopes for what will be. But, all-in-all, life is what you make of it in the here and now. For, it won’t be too long before you won’t be here and now. It won’t be too long before someone else will be walking their dog passed your house, remembering when you lived there. And it won’t be much longer after that when someone else will be walking their dog passed your house and they won’t even know that you ever lived there.