"Memory is the place where our vanished days secretly gather." John O'Donahue
Last night, I sat in a one room turn of the century school house with a lively group of people and performers, some of whom are friends of mine. It was the first (and I hope the beginning of many) Coffee House organized by the local Keswick Ridge Historical Society and I think everyone there would agree it was a rousing success.
I had never been in the old schoolhouse before but there was a familiar connective feel to it, to the music, to the people who attended. I felt comfortably settled and happy to be right there in the middle of the joy of sharing it with others. Ranging in age from 3 to 83 we all joined in to share a Saturday evening of singing along with whoever happened to take centre stage. Coffee, tea and homemade sweets were served......all fresh and warm from a local oven. The music was eclectically wonderful with a feel of amateur that made it all the more special because we could all join in even if harmony wasn't a gift we had been provided in our genes.
The song genres ranged as well, and it seemed like every old song or tune conjured up sweet echoing memories that visited my thoughts. Music has that capacity to allow us to visit that place where our vanished days secretly gather. In one evening, I found myself thinking and wondering and revisiting several friends and family members, some of whom have died. They all seemed to be linked to my in the moment evening in Keswick Ridge.
We never lose touch with our far away echos of ancestry and kinship. The people, the stories, and the events from our past ground us in a comfort of belonging. There is a recognition of who were are and how we interact in our present day environ based in our memories. I could sense this last night. As with everyone who attended, I was visited by my personal echos. It was like the air was filled with ancestry. Vanished days permeated the space all around us. So, even though we were all sharing an evening together singing and playing instruments in harmony, we were also entertaining our own thought journeys in our memory compartments.
Our spirits breathe in the soothing recognition of far away echos as we live and celebrate today.