“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Yesterday we retraced some of Tom’s steps by visiting the Gymnasium (high school) in Denmark where he studied as a mere lad of 18. We walked the halls, peeked into classrooms, and wandered the outdoor spaces. A bit later we found the home where he lived that year with his Danish host family. His time in Denmark shaped his life in ways small and large. It sparked a love of language, as well all things pickled...especially herring when followed by a shot of caraway flavored Akvivit. Living half a world away from home and family expanded his understanding of both. As a result of his year abroad, his life was forever marked by his experiences and those with whom he shared them, and for those experiences and people, he is forever grateful.
Of course there have been a host of other experiences and people that have helped shape him into the 70 year old man I love today. But yesterday was a snapshot of the panorama that has become his life, and watching him revisit the past gave me a renewed reverence for the present and how we arrive here.
No matter where we are standing now, none of us have made it here on our own.
It is good to remember from whence we came and those who helped us along our way.