Love is how you stay alive even after you are gone.

OIHM-1

I’ve been a member of the Orcas Island Historical Museum for a few years now. I joined after spending a weekend circumnavigating the Island by car to visit resort properties and locations owned or managed by members of my family in days gone by, as well as spending time perusing the museum archive files doing personal research.

Last year, I donated money to purchase a commemorative a brick for the walkway of the Orcas Island Historical Museum in Eastsound – Orcas Island, Washington. An act of love and personal tribute to my maternal grandparents and a dream they shared years before I was born. Leif Henry and Ruth Odell Erickson relocated with their four children, the eldest being my mother, from Bellingham to Orcas Island, owning and operating Waldheim Resort in Eastsound in the 1940s.

I had no idea where the brick was installed. As it turned out, their commemorative brick was part of the latest installation, which I literally stepped over following the path from the sidewalk to the entrance of the museum to inquire about it’s placement.

Although this engraved brick is a special tribute to my beloved grandparents, it brings a flood of memories of my summertime visits to the San Islands – vacations and reunions during the 50s and 60s with our extended family who still lived on Orcas. Several generations – great grandparents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins beach combing for shells and driftwood, building bonfires, clamming, crowded together is cozy cabins, cooking meals together, cracking jokes, laughing, playing cards, reading books, boating, swimming, horseback riding along the lake…. Recollections that spring to life as if only last summer, reminding me how much I still love those who are gone, but remain so deeply rooted in my heart and fondest memories.

 

Love is how you stay alive even after you are gone.

Moments -Twinkling & Sparkling

“One day when sitting at the dining table with my daughter, Sephira, then two and a half years old, she commented to me, “Mama, my legs are twinkling and sparkling!” It instantly made me think of when my mother told me about how my older sister used to say “booming darkening” when she was little, talking about lightning and thunder… but this wasn’t a stormy day. When I clarified with Sephira that she had indeed said “twinkling and sparkling”, it only took me a few seconds to realize she was telling me that her legs had fallen asleep and these were the sensations she was feeling. She had been sitting on her knees during our mealtime together. Once we got her legs straightened out the twinkling and sparkling stopped. Even though she didn’t use that phrase for long, I still marvel over the fact that this was the most perfect way she could have described those sensations to me, and I’ll never be able to think about my limbs falling asleep any other way!”

Moments Contributor Effie Siverts

Moments

I often drink from a black mug that reads “We do not remember days, we remember moments. – Cesare Pavese” wrapped around one side in white text. Pavese was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator who died the very summer I was born.

This quote has be one I have reflected on over and over throughout my life and am convinced it is true, absolutely true. I have many moments of my own that make a beautiful string of translucent pearls connecting beautiful moments in my life, others are like dimly lit figures stationed along the roadside on a dark night… haunting and I wish were forgettable.

Moments of significant impact have a stickiness to our recollection of past experiences that latch on to our shell, embed in our mind, warms or troubles our heart, lightening or weighing down the load we carry with us along our journey.

Having reflected further on the notion that “we (indeed) remember moments” for the past few months, I’ve made the decision to become a collector of “moments”, to preserve in a special archive of those who share their’s with me, our collective human experience one moment at a time. I have ordered myself a high quality recorder and microphone that I will use in the studio and out in the field. As soon as I have a collection to air, I will share the link to the audio-archive.