The past came running up to me the other day and hit the present with quite a force. In 1985 I went with my family to Minnehaha Falls. A few days ago on Labor Day I went to Minnehaha Falls with the sqvirrel, gigglygirl and the music man (gigglygirl’s partner). I have only the vaguest of visual memories of the 1985 visit, other than of the falls themselves. But I do have a rather visceral memory of it. It’s more of a feeling that I remember. The excitement of seeing the falls. And a powerful sense of love for my father. He was very excited about showing us the falls. My dad grew up in Minneapolis and had so many stories about it- taking the streetcars, walking through the snow when he didn’t have the five cents for the streetcar, riding a pony trap with his sister to school, ice-skating, watching timber logs go through St. Anthony’s Falls. He grew up and moved away, but took my mom, my brother, and me back to Minnehaha Falls during a brief sojurn in the Twin Cities area. And finally, he is buried in Minneapolis, having died in 1987.
Minneapolis was such a different world when he was a child. But the falls were there back in the 1910s and 1920s. And they were there in 1985. And still, they persist. They are there to create new memories, not only for me now, but for the future me, who will return again, and also for all of the families, however they may be defined, that enjoyed the site this labor day, and the summer, fall, spring, winter days that are to come.