Memories come to me in colors, smells and flavors. I easily remember bright flashes of emotion tempered with the textures of clothing and skin. One simple rendezvous with a benign item and I can close my eyes and see simple tableaus complicated by the stories that accompany them.
Sometimes, I'm jealous of people who can forget when quick encounters trigger vibrant, real recollections that tap my emotions.
But those recollections draw me to the details. I rarely miss an engagement ring or a new haircut. I almost always notice girls who experiment with make-up for the first time and I love a new pair of shoes. I'm drawn to personalities indicated through regular conversation or quiet expressions. And I see a lot of them. People show an awful lot of themselves if they know someone is willing to look.
The colors, smells, flavors come in waves--steady and unpredictable--that ask to be seen and shared. Lately, I've had a hard time putting words to the current of scenes that steadily flash in front of my eyes minute by minute.
Favorite, as he makes tea and fills my water bottles in the morning.
The red fox who visits my basement weekly.
My students who furrow eyebrows and stare in frustration at computer screens that don't quite capture the depth of their intelligence.
My mother, as she laughs into the phone over a funny story.
My father who shakes his head in amusing frustration over a silly dog who has already stolen his heart.
The trees, planted by hands I never saw, painted against the pinks of a smoky spring sky.
My heart is taken captive by the music that accompanies every image. Every color. Every smell and flavor.
Woven in all the intricacies of life, I can see Christ's hand. Sometimes, the clouds catch the light just right and I smell eternity for one brief second before everything shifts. When that happens, things taste a bit brighter; my eyes aren't quite as foggy.
I can exhale with the relaxed understanding that He gives and He takes away. Blessed be His name (Job 1:21).
And when the picture isn't perfect and the smells aren't inviting and the colors aren't so bright? I'm learning to bless His name anyway. Even when things are in a constant, repetitive loop.
Seeing the same scenery and circling the same emotions isn't something I'm trying to overcome. Working through doesn't really seem to imply working out. Instead, He's working to create consistency in me--to worship and thankfulness.
The flavors are the same--bitter, sweet, salty, sour. So are the smells. But the details are a little different when I am displaced for Him. I'm not the heroine.
So instead of circling Me when I'm overwhelmed with sensory experience, I'm learning to bend a knee to Him.
Not to change where I am or where I have been, but to change who I am.