“If only one good memory remains…”

“You must know that there is nothing higher, or stronger, or sounder, or more useful afterwards in life, than some good memory, especially a memory from childhood, from the parental home. You hear a lot said about your education, yet some such beautiful, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man stores up many such memories to take into life, then he is saved for his whole life. And even if only one good memory remains with us in our hearts, that alone may serve some day for our salvation.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

This is one of my very favourite quotations from the The Brothers Karamazov. Tonight I made fruit pizza (oat cookie crust with cream cheese and whipped cream topping covered with fruit and drizzled with chocolate), which has been my favourite dessert my whole life and which definitely reminds me of home, of my childhood, and of my family.

Now many more families are sharing meals together, cooking together, revisiting recipes and sharing them. It’s one of the bright sides that social distancing is, in many cases, leading to family closeness (even when the latter certainly has its challenges). 

In our culture, we focus a lot of preparing for success at education and work, but now is a time where we can test what are those “sacred memories” of ours that constitute our deepest education — the education that we belong, that we are loved, that we have traditions, stories, roots, and a mission? 

Perhaps the most audacious thing we can do now is to see even this time as an opportunity for making the very kind of memories to “take into life” later. 

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