It is amazing the kinds of things that trigger memories. I remember years ago going out for a meal with Joe to a local pub. At the end of the meal we had tea and coffee. Balanced on the edge of the saucer was an individually wrapped biscuit. It was a caramel, ginger, finger sized biscuit. Once unwrapped, the smell of it evoked really strong memories of childhood. My father was part Dutch and used to visit Holland a few times a year. He always brought back gifts – headscarves with windmills or tulips printed on them, very small wooden clogs that you hung on a hook on the wall and packets of “speculars” – Dutch biscuits in the shape of windmills that smelt of ginger and caramel. I am not a fan of anything with ginger in it apart from stirfrys, but I adored these biscuits! The memory was so strong – I just sat there with the biscuit held to my nose, and a glazed look over my face.
A couple of days ago I had another memory moment. I had gone out for a long walk. Joe and I had planned to go out for his birthday meal – an Indian restaurant that the just recently opened up in the city. I needed points to play with – since joining Weight Watchers one just cannot eat something without working out how many calories or grams of fat one is dealing with. I intended to go for a walk, pick some blackberries, stop off at the shop to buy some apples and stew them up. Well, there were no blackberries in sight. There were lots of the most wonderfully coloured mushrooms or toadstools!
It was the rosehips that did it! Back in the 1960’s there was a government thing about collecting rosehips. We were encouraged to collect them, send them somewhere, and they got made into rosehip syrup. I think it was something that was good for you, like cod-liver oil but much nicer tasting! I can remember our primary school class going off for many an afternoon with our containers to collect rosehips.
It was a nice memory – being out of school, walking over the fields, knee deep in grass and avoiding the cowpats and the nettles to get to the rosehips. I don’t suppose the government today would want children out in the fields collecting rosehips. They probably wouldn’t know what to do with the rosehips anyway. They have probably decided that rosehip syrup really isn’t that good for children either compared to some other chemical collection masquerading as vitamin supplements.
Memories matter! The Bible has a lot to say about remembering things – listening to the reminders. I was reading this morning in Hebrews about the experiences of the Israelites being written down as a reminder for everyone else to learn from their mistakes. After sending in the spies to look out the land, they got very cold feet and wanted to head back to Egypt. God was not impressed and the only thing that stopped him disposing of the rebellious horde was Moses’ intercession. The people survived that day, but only to die another day on the journey through the wilderness. There fate, written down in detail, reminds me that to not trust God, to complain, to reject his claim on my life or to forget his mighty acts in my life is to court disaster.