Do you ever get an intense feeling of nostalgia, where a certain smell or the weather takes you back to a certain moment or time in your life? This morning a cup of coffee took me back to my favorite coffee shop in Arizona, and drinking multiple pumpkin lattes, getting me through planning several large fundraisers. The morning sun and the brisk end of summer wind reminded me of opening the wood window shutters every morning in Portugal, looking out onto the farms and forest. I usually get these feelings, often wondering if it’s because I’m longing to be somewhere else in my life, to a time a bit more fulfilled, or is it because that I’ve had and continue to have many happy memories, that I’m often reminded of them by the simplest of things.
I think another part of nostalgia involves growing, and learning from events in your life. For me, it’s my love and much greater appreciation for Portugal and my family. Now that I’m older, and life’s responsibilities occupy my time a bit more, I don’t have the opportunity for month-long stays like I used to have when I was younger in school. But since then I’ve become more sure of who I am, my interests and how much my past has shaped those.Looking back on these moments that suddenly appear in your day, allows you to make connections within in your present life. For me, I always knew I loved nature because I spent many summers in Portugal, where we live on a farm. The fact that I cannot go at this time, makes me truly appreciate those long summers spent outside all day, picking potatoes and riding tractors, going onto the farm with my family picking dinner, making wine and looking up into the best starry skies.
Farming and food have become a great passion of mine, and need each other to thrive successful. I want to integrate my past into my future goal of a owning a bakery and farm. It’s a part of how I was raised, my family, and all those wonderful happy moments in my life that motivate me to create a future.
It’s amazing how so much can be conjured with an instinctual whiff or a small melody. A song you didn’t notice at that time, a place you didn’t even know had a particular smell. On one hand we long to be be in the past, but look more forward to the present and future. I stumbled upon this passage, and loved the bittersweet interpretation of nostalgia and how I’ve been feeling.
“But here is the truth of nostalgia: we don’t feel it for who we were, but who we weren’t. We feel if for all the possibilities that were open to us, but that we didn’t take. Like wax dripping from a flame, in the moment capable of transforming into any form, then solidifying into what it will always be, it becomes the past. A solid, single record of what happened, still holding its wild curves and contours the potential of every shape it could have held. It is impossible-no matter how blessed you are by luck, of the government, or some remote invisible deity gently steering your life with hands made of moonlight and wind-it is impossible not the feel a little sad, looking at the bit of wax. That bit of the past. It is impossible not to think of all the wild forms that wax now will never take.” Welcome to Night Vale #21
What are your thoughts on nostalgia?