These are historic times. We all know it. Previously unseen events unfold . Many we hope to never see again.
Postings of rock concert crowds and soccer fans in the stadium are replaced by those of our prettiest petunias and our most impressive pizza. For some, perhaps the lonely face of a white haired loved one through a window.
So awake are we to the significance of this season of our lives that institutions across the country are keeping a close record. I am one of many who chronicle my COVID-19 experience as a part of a project to contribute to our local university’s archives.
What gives such significance that it is worth preserving? Expert preservationists say that it is important enough to keep if it is associated with important events and people. Little Bohemia was once the cultural center of Czech life as immigrants arrived at the Prague Hotel and came to the Cermak Pharmacy which is now our home for legal services. They began creating a new life here.
As I capture my daily life in a diary for the future, I look back. 20 years ago this summer our law firm moved into our beautiful century old building on South 13th Street, located in the heart of the Little Bohemia district. Like many, it had a mosaic tile floor and an intricately detailed decorative ceiling. This month Little Bohemia was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our law firm moved here to start a new life. We have since grown to be in more than one building with our team grown many times over. I arrived with a young attorney whose name is now on the door and who now manages the firm. That same summer a cancer diagnosis arrived that a little more than a decade later left me widowed. Now I’m loved and loving in a way that will last until history is made again. Unprecedented times indeed.
What history do we honor? How do we remember what’s important? Some events are the “once in a lifetime”. Others are the every day. As I record my daily hours, I see what is important to me. The daisies needing water. Just the right amount of minced garlic in the marinara for Monday’s dinner. The cousin who called today with her cancer diagnosis.
What is important is what is before me. While the record of our days may not make it into an archive or our buildings be considered worthy by others, but I can know what matters to me.
Each day brings an historic time, pandemic or not. My challenge is to remember.
How do you remember what is important to you right now?
What do you appreciate from your past?
What can you celebrate as you remember?