When I was a kid we had a hell of a good time with practically nothing more than what we found lying on the ground, and, of course, bicycles. I remember when Mark Kelly and I climbed up in a tree in a cow pasture and were way up high, in the crook of a branch that was really scary. Suddenly, the cows in the pasture came wandering up to sit in the shade of the tree, and we felt both trapped by the massive animals, and oddly like predators, ready to pounce upon the unsuspecting prey below.
In the moments that followed, we both whispered about getting, possibly, trampled in a stampede, which didn’t happen nearly as often as television shows suggested, as often as, let’s say, amnesia and quicksand, and how we might get one of the cows home, were we able to kill it, with a limb sharpened into a spear. Having nothing but a small pocketknife between the two of us, spear making was going to take a while, but hey, we would work up an appetite, right?
As the weather is wont to do in the Summers of South Georgia, the wind began to blow, a gentle breeze, welcomed, then hard enough to make the tree sway; a thunderstorm was about to begin, and we had to get out of that tree. The rumble of thunder hinted that we might be part of a cookout, and on the menu as well, were we struck by lightning while still stuck in the tree.
Of course, we climbed down, spooked some of the cows, others ignored such small creatures as we, but we managed to get close enough to the fence to drop over to the other side, just as the bottom fell out of the skies, and the deluge began. Sheets of rain pounded us, blinded us, as we ran towards my house, which was closer, and we finally gained the sanctuary of the carport. Soaking wet and breathless, we watched as the storm spent its fury and eventually, perhaps a half hour later, the sun came back out as if nothing had happened at all.
We didn’t need or want dry clothes, didn’t care that we were soaked, and no one did back then. We were barefooted and nearly feral. We wandered off to watch the water run out of the field and into the pond, or somewhere else. There was a sense of constant motion back then.
There is no record of any of these events. Not a video, not a photo of any sort, no mention of anything on social media at all. We weren’t tied down to chargers, had no fear of getting anything wet, and never paused to record a moment or take a photo. We were simply alive, and in this, had no need or means to save the moment in which we experienced life.
Do you think the ability, and the desire, to record memories, keeps you from making the most of the actual experience?