Memories of a Southern Woman of Letters

Memories of a Southern Woman of Letters

Memories of a Southern Woman of Letters

Memories of a Southern Woman of Letters

Excerpt

The past is our only real possession in life. It is the one piece of property of which time cannot deprive us; it is our own in a way that nothing else in life is. It never leaves our consciousness. In a word, we are our past; we do not cling to it, it clings to us.

Innumerable filaments of memory fasten it to us, and we go through life with them dangling behind us. The memories do not date merely from our childhood. They go back far beyond our experience, out of sight of it, to fasten upon parents and grandparents. Blessed are the children who have parents and grandparents who can relate the stories of their own pasts and so connect the younger with the older memories, lighting a taper in the imagination that never goes out, no matter what extinguishes the great lights of acquired memories, but that, on the contrary, flickers away persistently until, as by a miracle, with time these filaments increase in brilliance and color, so that at the end of a long life we see them shining through the vista of years like beacons.

Many a grandmother and grandfather are still carrying such tapers set alight by their grandmothers and grandfathers, and will live in their illumination to the end of their lives.

I was particularly blessed in this regard. My mother, a charming raconteuse, witty and inexhaustible in speech, never displayed these qualities so well as when talking to her children. We were never beyond or above that entertainment. "Tell us about when you were a little girl," was our prayer to her, and she loved to do so, dropping into our minds the never-forgetable picture of a pale little girl with white hair and eyes ever reddened by sties, always sickly but always full of fun, and quick to see the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.