I went back in time today. Photos from an old scrapbook spoke to me. Sitting in the middle of my living room floor, in the middle of a cold grey week, in the middle of a pandemic, scattered photos looked up at me and said abruptly, “Seize the day.” They smiled at me from the summer sunshine almost a decade ago. A sweet snapshot of an afternoon, of a day in the life, of a little town called Bayfield awash in sunlight. That day my youngest was a baby, my father alive, my mother planning a family picnic in her own backyard, a global pandemic inconceivable. In Bayfield a place called Greunke’s First Street Inn has walls filled with memorabilia. Photos and magazine covers of famous folk — politicians, musicians, actors, writers and celebrities of all sorts adorn the walls. Record album covers zip you back to years gone by. Smiling faces long dead gaze happily upon you as if they have their whole lives before them.
Do you remember that scene from the movie “Dead Poets Society” when English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams, says of the old class photos on the wall, “If you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen. You hear it? Carpe. Hear it? Carpe, Carpe Diem — seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” Remember? He whispers it real slow and looks them in the eyes. It’s a riveting scene.