Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

What Does Memory Mean To You?

There is a beautiful children’s book called Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge written by Australian author, Mem Fox. Published in 1984, it is one of her best-selling books and is a favourite amongst children and adults alike.

It tells the story of a young boy who overhears his parents talking about the lady next door who is losing her memory, so he asks them, “what is a memory?”

His father tells him a memory is something you remember, but being a curious boy he continues to ask other people the very same question, “what is a memory?” He is told a memory is something warm, something from long ago, something that makes you cry, something that makes you laugh and something as precious as gold.

The boy goes looking for items that he thinks represents these things and gives them to the lady and as she looks at them, she starts to remember things. The book ends “and the two of them smiled and smiled because Miss Nancy’s memory had been found again by a small boy who wasn’t very old either.”

In a very simple and sweet way, this book is a perfect explanation of what a memory is.

What is your special memory? It might be something of very special significance in your life such as your wedding or the birth of your children. It could be something that happened yesterday or when you were a child. Often objects hold special memories for us like photos, but even something like a smell or a particular song can bring back memories of a special time in your life.

We would love to hear from you – what is your special memory?

Australia Day and Treasures.

Today is Australia Day and as I look around at what is happening in our wild and beautiful country I see people struggling to get back on their feet after years of drought and now flooding rain. I see people still rebuilding two years after the Black Saturday fires. I see families who have lost some of their most treasured posessions and keepsakes.

There is the story of the woman who was only able to save 5 photos of her children’s youth. She lost so much but not as much as others who were left with nothing – no keepsakes and souvenirs of their lives before the disaster.  There is the story of the photo album found floating downriver, full of the history of a family that no one knows.  Imagine what that album would mean to the family now, if they could find it?

“The most frustrating thing in the world is losing the things that mean the most to you among a sea of unimportant stuff that was acquired just because you could.” says Jonno Seidler in an article in the Age.  Can you imagine how hard it must be to sift through a lifetime’s collection it ‘stuff’ in your house to find the things that you really value?  Now picture yourself doing it in 5 ragged minutes as you race to evacuate.  How would you ever remember where you put that letter?  What did you do with your grandmother’s recipe book, full of recipes written lovingly in her old-fashioned, spidery handwriting?

Those of us who are safe and comfortable in our homes need to pay attention to what the less fortunate are saying.  It’s a lesson that we all need to learn.  We DO cram our homes with ‘stuff’ but only some of it really means anything to us.  It’s time to think about what is really important to you and how you will keep it safe.  We are blessed with the opportunity to prepare.  We have the gift of time. 

Australia is an amazing country filled with people who know how to pull together when the chips are down.  I’m proud to be one of them.  I’m proud to be someone who can help preserve your special memories with my work.  The events of the last few years have shown me how important that can be. 

On this Australia Day, celebrate with your families and make sure that you know what is really important to you.