Forgotten memories resurface at the most random times. A small trigger of a smell or a reminiscent laugh or faint hum of a song can bring them crashing back into consciousness like stumbling upon a box of tiny little souvenirs of the people I’ve known and the places I’ve been and the different stages of life I’ve traversed. My brain sometimes feels like a little suitcase, packed with memories and lost thoughts and compartmentalized by stories and epiphanies and lessons learned. And when that lost luggage is found, all I can do is stand still and bask in nostalgia.  

Trips to the mountains always do that for me.

The drive through the rolling Blue Ridge peaks made me feel little again, with my trunk packed for summer camp and nothing on my mind but swimming, running, yelling, and singing. Going up to the wide-open fields of Sarah’s farm brought me back to college and the first time I felt completely free and also completely alone in the Middle-of-Nowhere-College-Town-of-Athens, Georgia.  Seeing Mumford & Sons snapped me back to being 18 and seeing Sufjan for the first time… my life forever changed because of the profundity of experiencing live music.

Down by the river, I’m paddling class 4 rapids for the first time.

Driving through the hellacious downpour, I’m 16 on 1-4 for the first time… white-knuckling my way through downtown Orlando.

Making s'mores by the campfire, I’m in Troop 1018, trying to light a fire with one match for an elusive fire-making patch.  

Blowing up an air-mattress, it’s Christmas Eve in Woodstown with all my cousins on the third floor of the house my mother grew up in.

And lying on the ground watching the meteor shower, I was suddenly in elementary school with my constellation globe flashlight… staying up too late staring at the shapes on the ceiling and trying to memorize Ursa Major and Andromeda and Arcturus…