I've been thinking about memories. About grace. And the truth that seems to be transmitted through the most random of things.
The trunk that serves as our living room coffee table is filled with stacks of sentiment. Bundled letters, boxes of mementos, and piles of worn journals. When you've been journaling for ten full years, you acquire a substantial a collection of hard (and soft) bound volumes. And when you've attached your heart to as many places as I have, you collect enough tangible sentiment to fill a large trunk.
It's not often that I indulge in reminiscing. In the unpacking of the past. I finger through worn pages. Re-read letters and flip through snapshots. I always make an effort to send postcards to loved ones when I'm off and away so I have trouble throwing away the postcards sent to me. They are all tied up with ribbons.
I keep it all locked up. The dried flowers. The old photos. Rocks from a beach in Italy. A strange piece of wood I found on the street in Zanzibar. The first this, the last that.
Some nights I'll plan to journal, to write something new. But instead, I find myself reading old entries. Past thoughts. And its strange to discover how much you have changed in nine months. Four months. Three. To see what you were so worried about then, and realize how God smoothed everything out before you even understood your own fears.
The journal I'm currently working through is thicker than I'd like it to be. Sometimes I'm tempted to rip out a handful of ivory pages, so that I can be done with this one and move on to a volume that fresh and new. But soft leather and tight hand-stitched binding prohibit me from desecrating this tome; I am left to patiently write my way through it.
Its the first time I've had a journal with so many pages, and for all my annoyed thoughts, its the first journal that I can flip an entire year in the past, seeing exactly what I was thinking a year ago in November.
Its on these occasions of reading and quite reflection that I understand how many muted moments of growth and grace really have taken place.