An echo from the past

Al and me, enjoying what passed as a snowfall in Atlanta in the mid 1960's.

Al and me, enjoying what passed as a snowfall in Atlanta in the mid 1960’s

Nothing is Lost

by Noel Coward

Deep in our sub-conscious, we are told
Lie all our memories, lie all the notes
Of all the music we have ever heard
And all the phrases those we loved have spoken,
Sorrows and losses time has since consoled,
Family jokes, out-moded anecdotes
Each sentimental souvenir and token
Everything seen, experienced, each word
Addressed to us in infancy, before
Before we could even know or understand
The implications of our wonderland.
There they all are, the legendary lies
The birthday treats, the sights, the sounds, the tears
Forgotten debris of forgotten years
Waiting to be recalled, waiting to rise
Before our world dissolves before our eyes
Waiting for some small, intimate reminder,
A word, a tune, a known familiar scent
An echo from the past when, innocent
We looked upon the present with delight
And doubted not the future would be kinder
And never knew the loneliness of night.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. So very touching❤️

    • I agree! Thanks for being here, and for leaving a comment to let me know you are there. 🙂

  2. Good morning, Julia! What a fun photo. I’m not sure why, but my mind suddenly wondered about the related sounds – what it would sound like to hear kids with a Georgia dialect talking about the experience. I’m so curious to know what you’d have been saying! 😄

    • How interesting you would wonder that! Children are, after all, more alike than different, no matter where they live. Probably we would have been saying much the same things as children playing in the snow would say anywhere, focused on the immediacy of going as fast as we could while we had even a bit of snow to help us.

      • I’m remembering once when I was about five years old, my Uncle Jody (5 years my senior, with whom I spoke just last night) took me sledding on a hill up the street from their house in Negaunee, Michigan. When they get snow (which is often), they get a lot. They were expecting 5-6 inches last night (he and his family live in Marquette, now), but I digress!
        On the first run down the hill, Jody yells “duck!”
        Ever the curious five-year-old, I start looking for a duck!
        We got knocked askew by another sled, and went tumbling into the deep snow. Snow up my sleeves, snow in my boots, snow in my face …. I had never heard the term “duck” used, before that, but I sure remembered what it meant, afterward!

        • I’ll bet you did! I can’t remember a time when I did not know what “duck” meant, when used as a verb!

  3. Judy

    I don’t know why but I’ve come back to your blog to read this poem 3 or 4 times in the past couple of days, and now I even copied it off. Maybe it’s my age. I like the photo you paired with it too. It makes me reminisce about snow and sledding and the fun of wintertime during childhood. I bet that was a very special day for you and your brother as you had the thrill of sliding down a hill on snow saucers!

    All we had in my childhood were those wooden sleds with metal runners. We’d hook our booted feet in the handles of the sled behind us and make a train of several sleds, then slide helter skelter down the steep street by my grandmother’s house. Sometimes there were cuts and bruises but nobody thought anything about it. It was the incidental price you paid for having fun. I don’t remember adults ever cautioning us to be careful when we went out to play in summer or winter. They just expected us to take care of ourselves and we pretty much did. All they said was “Just be home for lunch!” or “Just be home for supper!”

    • Judy, thank you for sharing these memories with us. I have never heard of making a chain of sleds the way you describe, it sounds like a great innovation! I too remember a childhood long on fun and short on hand-wringing worried parents. We’d play outside till one by one, we were called home to supper, then back out again until dark in the summertime.

      I have read the poem myself several times, studying the unusual meter and rhyme structure that seems to lend poignancy to the ideas expressed. He so aptly captures the bittersweet nature of memories hidden away in the mind.

  4. Susan

    Julia, I’ve seen little excerpts from this, but never read the whole thing. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Thanks, Susan. I don’t remember seeing any part of it until I somehow discovered it when writing the blog seven years ago. One of the best things about writing the blog is that it helped me discover many literary treasures.

  5. MaryAnn

    What a precious shot of you, the JOY on your face!
    We have a 19-year-old boy from Nepal living with us. He is a student at California State University, Sacramento. We met through The Father’s House. We were talking about playing in the rain, so of course, I showed him photos that you took of me on the beautiful trail behind your home! That photo makes me happy & am very thankful for your love.
    Hug Matt for me.

    • Hi Mary Ann, thanks for your kind words about the photo and blog. I’m happy to learn you have a friend from Nepal. Matt’s driver for years was a young man from Nepal who become like a family member to us. Through him, I was surprised to learn how many people from Nepal have immigrated here or are here on a less permanent basis for a variety of reasons. Probably you have a large Nepalese community there as we do here.

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