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The Trunk Of Memories We All Have: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on March 26, 2014

Sitting Among Souvenirs

Here is a fresh breeze to set on your sill as the dawn draws near. There is a feint glow in the east as you rub the sleep from your eyes and welcome the past, embracing it as an old lover, equal parts bite and gentle caress.

Climb up in the rafters and there is the old trunk, weather-worn, chipped, faded, the handle hanging loose by one strap and a prayer. Pull it down then, set it upon the floor and dust it off. There is a lifetime in that trunk, and memories are waiting to pass through your sorrow and your glee, and leave you introspective as you sit among your souvenirs.

Are you ready? Then open the lid and let’s take a peek inside as the sun rises over your personal canyon and the early morning fog lifts.

The early years
The early years | Source

The Beginnings

First you crawl, reaching ever higher, stretching your arms, testing wobbly legs, dependent on so many for the basic necessities of your life. Mommy and daddy, smiling down at you, holding you, caressing you, breathing into you the love of life, the power of love, and then thirst for learning and exploration.

You burp, you giggle, you poop. You smile, you cry, you laugh. You learn to use those appendages and then you propel across the carpet, ever-faster, testing your limits and always knowing that safety is but a whimper and an outstretched hand away.

You play with your toys, wipe dog slobber from your face, slobber on the dog, and toss your food to the far-reaches of your home. You investigate, you sleuth, you pry and you destroy, your clumsiness only outweighed by your quest for knowledge. Birds fascinate you, bugs fascinate you, cats fascinate you and snowflakes do as well, and you acknowledge it all with a gap-toothed smile and the first rudimentary language consisting of sounds rather than communicative words.

Mommy and daddy, some siblings and extended family, they are your universe, a safe cocoon of unbridled and unashamed love and devotion.

Souvenirs by Dan Fogelberg

The Crawling Becomes a Walk

You begin to expand that universe as your two legs propel you forward. You learn to run, to jump, to boldly leap forward, and in leaping there are falls and falls are, yes, painful, but bounce back you do to try once again. Your universe expands with friends, and school becomes a part of your reality, and knowledge multiplies and discussions about unlimited potential are heard and the secrets of happiness await you.

Movies and sports, pushing the limits, senses exploding in overload but what a joyous way to perish, the tastes, the sounds, the sights, textures, the smells, all there for you to record, all there for you to learn from. You toss your first ball, swim your first pool, run your first field and entertain millions of thoughts as your imagination soars and dreams seem limitless.

Time to run
Time to run | Source

And Then It Is Time to Run

And run you do with arms pumping, legs churning, your hair flowing in the wind and your lungs billowing with life-giving air. You feel so alive, nothing can stop you, bring on the challenges but be careful what you wish for, for some of those challenges will leave you licking your wounds and contemplating the wisdom of temperance.

But temperance be damned, and consequences be damned, and let those chips fall where they will because you were born to run, baby, born to run, sometimes sprinting and sometimes a slow, leisurely jog; sometimes with a destination in mind and sometimes in random roaming in the gloaming; but run you do as the blood pumps and you lift your head and shout to the heavens “I’M ALIVE, I’M ALIVE, THANK GOD I’M ALIVE.”

My own thoughts on regret

Pick up Speed, Spread Your Wings, and Fly

And the heavens call back “YOU ARE ALIVE AND DON’T YOU DARE WASTE IT,” and you ponder that thought, for how could a runner, how could a seeker of knowledge, how could you…be wasting life? And that question stays with you and you seek counsel in others and you look near and far for an answer that was born in your blood from day one…..you were meant to fly!

You realize now that man was not meant to walk upright with two legs, but rather to pick up speed, run headlong towards that cliff, and at the very last moment bend the knees and propel yourself into the heavens and fly, baby, fly. Soar with the eagles and look down on the chains just broken and realize your true place in this universe.

Of course there are dangers and all manner of pain that could happen, but none of that is important as your grab hold of a thermal and streak ever higher, arching your back for more lift, shifting your hips for graceful turns, lifting your head to the sky and feeling the warmth of the sun and the realization that you have finally achieved what so few achieve….fulfillment.

Sitting among souvenirs
Sitting among souvenirs | Source

And Then the Time Will Come

As it does for all us humans, the time will come when we must fold our wings and rely once again on our legs for propulsion, and the legs will grow weary, and we find comfort in laying down and gazing to the heavens we once conquered. And we close our eyes and see ourselves as we once were, vital, vibrant, filled with piss and vinegar, and we smile….and when we sleep we are young once again, running free in the fields of lavender, our arms outstretched, laughing wildly, knowing no limitations……

And a fresh breeze ruffles our hair and settles once more on that mantel of life, and the sun sets in the west and the old trunk is returned to the attic where it will gather dust among the other archives.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

My thanks to Dan Fogelberg for the inspiration

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it's been a great journey and it ain't over yet. :) Thanks my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I'd keep that old trunk beside me for a while, grab for the gusto and memories, and let it take me again where it will. Ah, the memories, the past. Then the present and future, but it all relates to the past.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you MG....I enjoyed writing this one.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      This is a lovely post with even more lovely memories

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! It's good to see you again. I hope all is well with you.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Thank God for our memories and reminders of them like this one. Bill this piece really makes you think and remember the good times. A truly moving piece my friend.

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting. Shared too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you so much for the very kind words. Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You transported me deep into the world of pure joy with your wonderful description, Bill. Thank you!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Flourish.....but then, I like the present, too. I'm pretty happy as long as I'm breathing. :) Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I like the image of being surrounded by souvenirs. Between old school artwork, photos, and knick-knacks acquired through a lifetime of travel, I find comfort in reminiscing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I love that you keep those things as an historical chronicle for your grandchildren. How beautiful that is. I am the keeper of our trunk. My immediate family has all passed on, so I am the chronicler in our family, the one with the memories for the nephews and nieces and grandchildren....and I love being that person. Now, who to pass it on to?

      Thank you as always my friend.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      What a lovely, gentle journey through the 'images' of our lives! I do that, now and then, go to the loft and get the photos out to sort through. It happens more often now because I want some for hubs, or because my granddaughter wants to look through more. One day, they'll all be sorted out, scanned and kept for ever, for my grandchildren and beyond. They are an important historical chronicle.

      However, we should use them to learn, we should look forward, still with lots to do and lots to learn.

      My dreams surprise me with all sorts of things but my life surprises me with even more wonder, joy and gratitude. The last week has been one of the best for a long time and I cherish it, and yes, I have much of it on camera! That's a few more hubs sorted!

      Keep reminding us of the purpose of this life, bill; you do it so well.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, truer words were never spoken. I wonder how we apply for a "do over?" LOL

      Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, vkwok!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Beautiful words of wisdom, Bill. Why is it that just about the time we feel like we know something, it is time to pack it up and let someone younger take over? As a great man once said "youth is wasted on the young."

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I love that example. We are all the same in so many ways; my memories will trigger similar memories and others, and a smile will fall upon our faces as we remember with joy.

      Thank you kind lady.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Danida, I don't have anyone to remind me, so I hold onto what memories I have....and they are dear ones.

      Thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      grand old lady, thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words and I am grateful that I have my memory trunk.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, you have a poet's heart. Beautifully summarized; the perfect comment.

      Thank you and blessings to you and yours

      bill

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, your moments of reflection are not only good reads, they are deeply touching because we can relate to their essence. I remember reading about woman who had some boxes of old stuff on her floor. They bothered her but she could never find the courage to throw them away. One day she seemed to hear them say that they were the contents of the book she had to write--and they were. Your article supports that suggestion. Thanks.

    • Danida profile image

      Danida 3 years ago from London

      I hold a few select memories of my early childhood. I wonder how many I've forgotten. Ever so often someone reminds me of something and I think, "Why did I ever forget that? It's such a great memory!"

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      It must be very nice to have a literal trunk where you can look in and see mementos from different stages of your life. But if you don't have it, memory does well enough. Thank God for memories. This was an enjoyable and graceful hub. Thank you very much.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello Bill .

      Awesome, beautiful and interesting.

      Like an oasis in the desert, memories summon inspiration with confidence to continue journey bringing out the best of talents we have and hard labour we provide. Often lifting heads to the heaven in hope to have renewed strength and power lifting the weary wings, and without being weary,-vigorously "achieving" until that last call to return into the arms of Charity we came from, - where time is called Eternity.

      Blessed evening my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell! When I put a little extra effort into something it is nice to have it received warmly.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Beautiful billy, they way you wrote it really brought it home to me how time flies, the things we do, and what life is all about, wonderful!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Anna! Every once in awhile I have to let my poetic side flow or I'll just burst. I appreciate your kind words.

      bill

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Beautifully told. You expressed the passage of the years, and the realisation of potential, perfectly.

      I loved the first paragraph. Such vivid imagery and great similie. Very clever!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hold on tight, Jackie, and get to writing. Everyone has a story to tell and lessons to share. If I inspired you in any way then I am happy. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, if this is where you are, then I'm looking forward to the magic you weave as well. Thank you for your kind words and blessings to you my dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, probably about the same time I do. :) Some of us just don't learn quickly my friend.

      Thank you!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      When I read a writing of yours like this I am inspired to write so many things. Probably many of us feel that, to capture so many things of the past that can be captured in writing to hold onto. I wondered if you would have the Souvenirs video. Perfect topping. ^

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      You've weaved your magic once again to capture the imagination. This is exactly where I am right now, I've been trying to get it all out in poetry form, a means of catharsis for me I guess. Digging into that trunk can be beautiful but also painful. I hope we'll all continue to make sweet memories for a long time to come. Take care and my best to you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Why am I so afraid of that trunk? I have over 120 years of great children yet I am so afraid of what I did wrong along the way. When will I ever learn.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Liz! I hope today is a productive one for you. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing. I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jamie! I appreciate your kind words.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I needed this inspiration today. Time to get moving before it's too late. Thank you once again for providing a great motivational hub!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Another great hub Bill! Voted and shared!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Very well written and poetic. Thank you for this hub Bill. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith...sending love to you across the country, and a great appreciation for you as a human being. Thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, thank God, I am alive! And since we are, let us leave a legacy of love behind before it is time for us to leave this world! Each year seems to be passing more quickly than the one before as if time is speeding up! Beautiful reflections here, dear Bill. Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you mathira! It's nice to receive such kind words.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      billy, as usual your hub is very inspiring. I literally soared in the sky and I could feel the fresh air in my face. I loved it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I appreciate your kind words. I'm not sure how many felt this was melancholy, but that is what I felt when writing it. You are a very sensitive person to notice that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Harishprasad, thank you so much. I enjoyed writing this and I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      You are a great writer, your stories captures me:) This one is a bit sad, I often feel some melancholy from stories looking back. Beautiful of course and life always offer new happiness, even in small things.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      Wow ! So wonderful thoughts and great tips for art of living ! Bill, once I began reading this hub, I stopped when I was finished with the last word of this hub. Great writing and great stuff ! Loved reading it, it is very inspirational. Thank you. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy. Coming from a writer of your ability I am flattered.

      billy

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Again I was at your side sharing life's journey with you. Another wonderful hub; voted up and shared. Also wishing you and family a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, thank you! Every once in awhile I want to show people that the old man can still write. ;) Have a great day dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, DDE! I appreciate your kind words.

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, this is amazing! You had my heart pumping, then I could feel myself relax and breathe a sigh of contentedness at the end. This is the best explanation of Life's Journey I've ever read. Simply awesome, Bill!

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Memories are golden and to treasure such memories remains deep down our souls your hubs are very insightful. Treat each day beautifully.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, it is indeed. Have a truly awesome day my friend and thank you!

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      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      And that is why we have to cherish and truly live each moment. Thanks for a wonderful and powerful read. Voted up, interesting, useful, beautiful and awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I knew you would, Ruby! When I write one of these I always think of you and say "This one is for Ruby." :) Thank you dear lady.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Janine. Often Fogelberg is the inspiration for one of my reflective pieces. I hope you have a wonderful day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I loved him too and saw him live in 2001 and it was a thrill for me. Thank you for the visit and I'm glad you enjoyed this.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh you must have felt like you were soaring with the eagles when you wrote this. It is so beautiful! I was right there with you. The video perfect. I love this, can you tell?

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      I love how you perfectly captured the stages of life here both beautifully and gracefully, too. Also, love that you used Dan Fogelberg for your inspiration. What a way to wake up the senses for sure. Thanks Bill and wishing you a wonderful Wednesday now!

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      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      This says it all for sure. It is amazing how each stage happens and one day we are older..and always ask "where did the time go" And we can look in the trunk of memories and realize how fleeting life is. I loved Dan Fogelberg...I got to see him perform..Died way too young. Thanks for this memory vision.