Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Nostalgia Is a Powerful Feeling

My husband, daughter, and I were talking one day on the way home from church. We were talking about a “Dunkin Donuts” that was coming soon in a close-by shopping center. My husband asked me, “Are you excited about that?” And I said, “Well, yeah! I haven’t been to one since I was a kid and I want to get a chocolate covered donut with those little mini nuts. I used to love those. It’s my favorite donut.”

Then I thought about it. Would that be my favorite donut if I didn’t have warm childhood memories associated with it? Probably not. I mean, the donut is good – but it’s not out-of-this-world. It’s just a donut. But it feeds more than my stomach. When I eat one, it feeds my heart. It feeds it with feelings of memory and love.  No other food can touch that!

That’s when my husband made the comment that “nostalgia is a powerful feeling.” He is so right. For nostalgia trumps other options and choices every time, in my book. I will choose a little yellow pear tomato if offered to me over any other kind of tomato every time – out of nostalgia. Out of nostalgia, those yellow tomatoes have become my favorite kind of tomato because of the memories associated with them.

I love drinking soda out of a bottle. Out of nostalgia.

I love the sound of old-fashioned sprinklers in the summertime (not the built-in sprinkler system, but the “I need to come out every half hour and move you kind of sprinkler) – out of nostalgia.

Nostalgia has a built-in component to it. It builds in love, joy, good, warm feelings, and tender memories to everything it touches.

And I love that. It takes something ordinary, and makes it timeless in our hearts.

Often, we can be taken by surprise by the emotions and feelings that overcome us when we are taken back to a certain time and place, by a smell, a song, a taste. And for that moment, we are 6 again, riding our bicycle around the neighborhood with no helmet on, or skipping down the sidewalk, or hugging our grandparent and smelling their cologne or perfume.

Those are the beautiful moments of life. The times where we can see how we were molded and shaped by what was in our lives at any given moment and time.

May we never take those precious memories and legacies for granted. Relish that bbq’d hamburger and homemade ice cream that take you back 20 years. Enjoy that chocolate coke or that smell of shampoo.

Let it soak in, for it’s a part of you.

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