Good Things in the Good Past
I was up in southwest Michigan recently, where Niecie and I lived for 14 years back in the 80s and 90s. We left there to move to our beloved south. We always thought we’d end up in Tennessee, but came to Arkansas instead. I’m just fine with that.
I’d only been back to Michigan two or three times in 26 years. It’s a hard place for me to visit—not because of bad memories but because of good ones. All four of our children were born there. We had wonderful friends. Though not without challenges (and the much too long winters), we enjoyed that stretch of our life.
Over the course of 14 years, we lived in four houses. I drove by one of them, our first one, while back in the area, but I just couldn’t go see the last one, even though it was our favorite. And I don’t think I ever will. It’s a simple three-bedroom brick ranch. Nothing elaborate, just a quiet and peaceful country setting. It was … home—and everything good that the word home implies.
A friend urged me to go see it and maybe even ask the current owners if I could come in. But as I told him, It’s a really good place in a really good past, and that’s where it needs to stay.
The past often gets a bad rap, and sometimes it deserves to. But not always. Some corners of the past hold sacred scenes of beauty, reflection, peace, and happiness. I like those places too much to disturb them by dragging them into the present.
In my mind, Memory Lane is more of a cul-de-sac than a lane. It takes me to a time and place that was and brings me back to the time and place that is, and I am better for having made the round trip. I’ve been able to connect a few dots and understand a little more of what God was doing then that matters so much now.
© 2022 by Tim Grissom. All rights reserved.