Reasons to Smile

The past beats inside me like a second heart.
~ John Banville

Five months into the pandemic, I’ve entered a new coping phase. I’ve gone through fear and worry, anger and sadness, and now this: nostalgia — the desire to return, at least in thought, to a former time.

With less noise in my life and fewer distractions tugging at me, memories bubble to the surface.

Dad, pushing our rusty, old manual lawnmower on Witters Street.
My Grandpa letting me steer the red boat on Sand Lake when I was six-years-old.
Summer thunderstorms with my crackling transistor radio tuned to Tiger baseball underneath my pillow.
Fall nights, my bedroom window open, listening to the leaves in the big trees blow in the wind.
Grandma’s egg salad sandwiches.
Building forts and eating popcorn with my sister.
Watching “The Price is Right” with my mom on the tiny TV in our kitchen.
My friend John and I accidentally jamming the lighter into the dash of my mom’s Pontiac Bonneville and burning up the speedometer.
Using my sheepdog as a pillow while I watched The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights.
Playing catch with my brother who had the strongest arm I ever saw.
Snowy mornings, listening to the radio, praying to hear my school was canceled.
Mooney’s Ice Cream, A&W frosty mug root beer, Tony’s steak sandwiches, and Faygo red pop.
The promise of spring, the sweetness of summer, and the magic of Christmas.
And that unforgettable feeling in the pit of my stomach when a certain cheerleader smiled at me.

These are the colors that leap from my pages. Maybe yours are buried by fear and worry, anger and sadness. Find them. Make your list.

Share it with a world desperate for color.