You know how you’ll be doing something, maybe urgent or mundane, and you’ll see, hear or smell something that takes you back to another place in your life? It seems inevitably those moments cascade into a jarring realization of where you are right now and the distance between the two.
I had such a moment in one of the many art museums here in Savannah. All of which that we visited are amazing – highly recommended.
I’m touring through a photo exhibit of the Great American Roadtrip, and turn to face a photo of a water park in Orlando, Florida – the Wet n’ Wild water park. Now, memories are a tricky thing. And I have memories of visiting this park, though I can’t say whether it was once, or dozens of times. But I do remember having a great time there as a child. I especially remember the iconic wave pool pictured above; perhaps trivial now, but a Big Deal at the time – especially to a kid.
Then I see the captioned info for the picture:
And I start doing the math… The year of the photo (1980) is so close to the very year I might have been there, Daria and I spent some time trying to find me or my sister in the photo.
And then I realize that a photo, that I might have been in (I wasn’t), is sitting in an historical exhibit in a museum…
I don’t ever feel old (knees aside), though my bent has always been toward the philosophical. But I’ll be damned if this didn’t challenge my outlook as to exactly how long I’ve been walking this planet.
Maybe this is the first of many such findings, and, as we get older such happenstances occur more often. If we’re lucky to get there, at age 100, maybe it’s common to find references to a life we took for granted displayed under harsh lighting with a placard citing their provenance and historical relevance.
Seems obvious. But it’s mildly alarming to see it for the first time.