Ethel has taken time off, and so This column, with some changes, is a repeat. She’ll be back next week.
New Years Day is when most of us look back o’er the years, to recall where we were, what we were doing, and who we were with on past New Years. There are the days of marriages, divorces, births, moves to another city, job, home, school, or deaths. We all have them, and this time of year is when we think of them.
But digging deeper, are those private anniversaries of former days and places that everyone of us has, but they are days and events which we note silently and by ourselves only, and let them pass unmarked by feasting or friends.
Yes, you and I both note many an outwardly unmarked day, but inwardly we recall what took place on that day in some former year, and re-live the memory, because, sweet or bitter, it is ours and had its share in making our lives what they now are.
There is ‘something’ within us that loves to double-back upon our lives and stand again on the place we once stood. To meet ourselves face-to-face, so to speak. There are certain places, which, when I pass by, I stare at with odd thoughts. Almost as if I’m inwardly asking, “Who was that Ethel who once stood or lived there?”
Years ago, and I remember the date well, a man and I met briefly and sadly on a certain Salt Lake corner and both knew it was a parting from an ‘impossible’ situation, and that, should we ever meet again, it would never be the same. Or that we even would be the ‘same’ people. All by myself I note that day . . and wonder if he does, too.
There’s an old home on Poplar Street in Murray, the Cahoon home, that I look at, curiously trying to reconstruct a past that I never knew. Gram, then a young 17 year old Rachel Crozier, was visiting there with relatives, where a man, seventeen years her senior, and named Arch Bradford had been invited to sing and play his guitar for the group.
And that turn-of-the-century meeting, was the catalyst as to why I am now Ethel Bradford, live on property that has always belonged to no one but native Indians and Bradfords, and why my sons, grandkids, and two greats, all bear that name that came over on the Mayflower.
Yes, any spot of ground each of us has stood upon is special to us. No matter how many office buildings and condos, are built at 700 East and 4500 South, I will always see a tow-headed girl-child playing on the northwest corner in the open fields, turning somersaults and cart-wheels, climbing trees, and at the same time, watching traffic heedlessly speeding right through what once was Mama’s living room that she kept so clean, calm and lovely.
No one, no matter how close or loved, can look upon ‘our’ spots and ‘our’ dates with the same tenderness we do. Or could we do the same for them, for there’s not a one of us who does not have those nostalgic moments that make life stand still while a tear, smile, regret or tragedy drifts through our hearts and minds.
See, today I ramble, but this is the day, unbeknownst to anyone else, and unshared by wife/husband/lover/friend/parent or child that I re-live. They are personal, secret, blessed or bitter, but they are happenings that have molded our lives into what we now are.
But I shake myself from such rememberings, loved or not, for today is today, and I plan to make 2013 a year full of days I can celebrate and rejoice over forever. We all can do it, too, you know, if we just dust off the past, keep it in its place and take time to realize each day as we meet it at dawn, is unblemished, and with our God-given power we can keep it that way, too.
The next 364 days are ours to make exactly as we wish. So far they are absolutely untouched, so let’s meet each day and keep them well. I wish you, not just a Happy New Year, but that God, with You, will keep it that way. It’s in our power, you know.