One can never live in the past, yet the past is never abandoned. It is embodied in every movement, in the ways we walk, in the ways our fingers reach out and our hands hold, in the ways we look at another.
It is the reason our breaths catch when we gaze across the water into the sun-drenched edge of the sky, it is the reason behind our choice to walk down this street and not the next, it is the reason we refuse to look certain people directly in the eye, it is the reason we hesitate before saying yes to some questions, the reason we are reluctant to trust words and only believe when time has proven all else folly.
It allows us the space to trust our own heart when it tugs and when it warms, to walk away with grace when the wind blows, to burn bridges without being afraid, because now we know. It makes us fall in all the right places, it makes us understand better now than ever, what is most important to us.
We often frustrate ourselves with persistent visions of the present, insisting that this is all there is, pushing aside everything else. We try so hard to stay just here, in the moment, without realizing that everything that has ever happened to us is always happening.
We can forgive the past, we can forget the past, we can drown it, we can let it go, we can no longer live in it, but it lives on within as a part of us nonetheless.
Most importantly, it carries us through the present.
Without my past, I wouldn’t know to be thankful for where I am now, and by gosh, am I ever.