The human mind is an amazing computer.
It does not matter what kind of processor you have in your laptop or desktop, your mind can still do things that we have not learned how to program into computers. I doubt computers will ever be able to make the same connections that the human mind does.
If you happen on a scene like the one in this post in person, your mind will store some associations to the image and sometimes the images will retrieve other memories that might be tied to those associations.
I recently published a new book, The Road To My Country. The book is all about my memories. I did not put any images in the book. One of the reasons is that I wanted readers to create their own mental images when reading the book. If there were images in the book, you might well associate a passage with one of my images instead of one that you pulled from your own past.
So far I have gotten some good feedback that the book encourages people to think about their memories. I think it is healthy to relive positive memories that are part of the quilt of our lives.
In some ways, memories are like small towns along a highway. You're in the dark until all of sudden, you round a corner onto Main Street, where the memories are waiting for you like the inviting lights in a late-night diner.
Just because we enjoy our memories does not mean we are living in the past. I often find that a recalled memory in the right situation creates new memories and associations that make things we do today even more special because they are grounded in the past.
The sea oats in the picture that I took on July 17, 2013, are a good example. While sea oats always make me think about being at the beach, that is not the most positive association for me. They also bring back the memory of the days when I first spent some time with my wife, Glenda. She had a vase with sea oats in her apartment.
Food is often associated with pleasant memories. Ripe red tomatoes and cold fried chicken bring back memories of my mother. She was famous for her tomatoes. The summer that I went to school at the Grayln Estate in Winston-Salem, I ate a lot of her cold fried chicken.
Weather can also bring back memories. Since we spent many years in Canada before we came to the Crystal Coast, it is no surprise that snow is attached to so many memories. One of my best snow memories is tied to the birth of our younger daughter. We had one of the most impressive blizzards of our whole sixteen years in Canada the day our daughter was born. Just before the blizzard came, the temperature reached minus forty. I guess I was so worried about getting Glenda to the hospital during a blizzard that the drive home through the last part of it was still a positive experience because mother and daughter were fine. Of course my own mother had fried chicken waiting for me when I got home so there were a lot of good things about that storm.
Even being cold and wet brings back good memories for me. Other than during my ten plus years as a farmer, I was never colder and wetter than on a fall fishing trip in Beaufort. I would have repressed the memory if the half day of fishing had not been one of the best in my life as you can see from this picture of the catch. The picture does not have the dozens of puppy drum that I caught and released that same morning.
If you want to take a journey down my memory lane in the hope it will spark your own imagination, give our book, The Road To My Country, a try. You might be surprised at what memories of your own that it brings back. Some readers have asked if there are pictures of some of things mentioned in the book. Our other recent book, A Taste For The Wild - Canada's Maritimes, has many images that are described in The Road To My Country. As I told a friend my lime green Bronco is even there.
Each of the books are just $2.99 which considering a Sunday Raleigh News & Observer costs $2.14 including tax is pretty reasonable. You will likely remember our book a lot longer than anything you read in the Sunday paper.