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The Presence Of Past

When I was ten years old (I looked like I was eight) my mother took me to a small carnival. Another lady, whom I don't remember, also came. While they sat and talked I was allowed to walk around. I wandered through the open game booths. Dart throwing balloon popping boards, rifle shooting kill the ducks, and bean bag pitching to knock down the gophers seemed to go against the grain for a quiet, ten-year-old animal lover so I moved on. The middle aisle of games showed more promise and I stopped at the "ping pong ball into the glass containing a live goldfish and win the goldfish" table. This suited my "Save The Animals" senses, decades before Greenpeace was popular. Of course, no ten-year-old reasons that the goldfish will probably not live a week, assuming, of course, that it makes it home alive in a tied-up plastic bag. So, there I was, saving one small creature at a time when...

A stranger walked up to me and watched for a while, so interested in my technique, my ten-year-old mind assumed. He said something, so I turned to him. Then he asked me if I would like to take a walk with him. Now I had been brought up to be extremely polite to any adult speaking directly to me. In a nano-second of panic and uncertainty, I did not know how to answer him. But then, a small voice gave me the words; "No, thank you." Before the man could react my little body turned and walked away. I walked as if I was going straight to my mother, although I had no idea where she was. Today, I wholeheartedly support "Stranger Danger" awareness. I often think back to that moment. One moment that could have changed my life completely.

Never Look Back

to continue to be successful after doing something with a good result

"When she got the promotion she never looked back."

-Cambridge Dictionary

I just went to a celebration of my high school friend's 50th Wedding Anniversary. I was her maid of honor. I had a wonderful time and got together with her and two others who made up a foursome back in the day. We were all very different but somehow it worked, and still does. But the next morning I woke up thinking about when a ten-year-old made a choice, in the moment, that would change the course of her life. In my case, for the better. I have had 59 more years because of that choice.

When people say "never look back" they usually mean not to dwell on the past. But, I think Cambridge got it right. I think we should always look back, realize our mistakes so as not to repeat them, realize how to do things better, and realize just how far we have come.

"Morning Light"

by Dominic Giglio 1947-2021

"Forget the former things,

do not dwell in the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up...

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland."

Isaiah 43:18-19


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