Personal Musings

What Do You Remember About Yesterday?

Journal or write not just for reflection, but to be fully present in the here and now

We think we remember yesterday until yesterday becomes two days ago, then three, then four. When you make a decision to write or journal every day, remembering yesterday becomes a centered practice in being fully present in the here and now. Journaling helps you notice the subtleties in life you’d easily overlook or forget if you didn’t capture it through writing.

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

Louis L’Amour

What Do You Really Remember About Yesterday?

You may remember a few things from yesterday: what you ate, snippets of your drive to work, a conversation with a spouse or your child, and so on. In a few days, this memory fades into the ether.

When you write these things down, they stick in your memory like pine resin on your fingertips. A few of mine from yesterday:


On my run, shortly after crossing a wooden bridge leading to a paved trail, a young black snake, aka Eastern Rat Snake, about four feet in length startled me. While they are harmless, I nonetheless jumped about five feet in the air trying to dodge him. He was alive and well [see photo above] and didn’t budge an inch. I texted my wife and said, “Greetings from the trail.” Her response: “Eek!”

2:30 PM

Just as I was leaving to pick up my son from school, I stood at the kitchen window washing my hands. A juvenile hawk swooped down, its talons grasping in air, and tried to snag a mourning dove at my feeders. A blue jay was with the dove so he could have been the target all the same. Both escaped narrowly.

7:30 PM

Later that evening, I found myself driving in heavy rain to pick up my daughter from soccer. The downpour was unexpected despite the volume it dropped from the sky. I couldn’t see past the hood of my car the fog grew so heavy, so quickly. Arriving at the soccer field, my daughter ran to the car. She was wet as a sewer rat.

What About Two Days Ago?

Do you remember anything? Forget what you ate for dinner. Did you notice the birds singing? The clouds rolling about in the sky? Did they take on a specific shape? Maybe you have the memory of an elephant and you’re rolling with these questions. For others, perhaps it’s foggy and you’re mixing up your memories already.

Two days ago, I took a nasty fall while trail running in the woods. I was on the lookout for snakes, specifically copperheads, since the leaves have fallen prematurely for this time of year. But it wasn’t a snake in the leaves I needed to be weary of. It was the leaf itself.

Crossing a recently repaired wooden bridge in the woods, I slipped on a wet leaf and shot across the bridge like a cartoon character hitting a banana peel. The good news is I caught myself with my hands before bumping my head. The bad news is that at the end of the bridge are large, pointy rocks. It’s a trail after all. I took a rock to the butt, hip, and left wrist. The pain was immediate but since I had been running and blood was pumping fast through my limbs, I knew the full pain wouldn’t hit until I was home and resting.

What About Three or Five Days Ago, Two Weeks Ago?

Journaling isn’t necessarily about reflection as it is about mining the present. If I want to revisit three or five days ago or two weeks ago or a month, I can. Not everything will be there of course. What I found worth capturing is — that’s reflection. The reason journaling can be so profound is you begin to make note of the sights, sounds, smells, and experiences you would otherwise gloss over in daily life.

When I fail to notice these tiny moments in my life I fail to notice what makes life wonderful. At one time in human existence, our connection to nature reigned supreme. We’ve lost that in modern times. You can change this in your life by journaling, drawing, or through photography.

See the world as it is, not as some cynic on the Internet or your television screen wants you to see it: i.e. the world is falling apart at its seams. Think of the Louis Armstrong song, “What a Wonderful World.”

I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself:
What a wonderful world

Louis Armstrong, What a Wonderful World

That’s the world waiting for you if you only care to look. “Through the eyes of a child” as we say.

Thank you for reading.

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