The Characters

 

Moments In Time

I have only a scant handful of photos from my childhood; just a few frozen-in-time moments captured, back then, in black and white. Everything else….all my other memories….are preserved in the twisting corridors of my brain and, one day, may become blurred with advancing age. That, perhaps, is why those early, grainy pictures are so precious to me today.

I don’t hide my photographs in dusty albums shut up in the dark interiors of musty boxes but, instead, I display them on walls and shelves and mantels. A significant number of the people, places and animals in those moment-in-time reflections are no longer with me. Death slid in, silently, like an accomplished burglar, and stole some of them. Others followed life paths that radically diverged from my own, eventually erasing the common denominators that once drew us together in friendship. And still others were sent to me for only a season or two. It doesn’t matter, because there is never an absence of presence as long as I can look at one of those photographs….remember….smile and….sometimes….laugh….or cry. Regardless of the current circumstances, the precise milli-second when the camera shutter clicked was joyous.

One of those treasured, black and white photos is of eight ladies standing on a hill. Smiling. Arms around one another. Some of those ladies arrived in the United States on packed ships from Italy. They were in the beginning stages of learning the language of their new home. Others were born in the United States, labeled as their family’s first American-born generation. Each one of those ladies is a connection to my heritage as well as to what will become my legacy.

All of those lovely moments-in-time are a constant, rhythmic beat in my heart. Walking by and glancing at the photographs adorning walls and tables allows me to inhale an extra breath of happiness. It also wraps me in a strongly-defined sense of being grounded in my past, present and whatever the future may hold. That is very, very special.