February First Thursday in downtown Boise, at the Idaho Fettuccine Forum saw one of its finer presentation moments by Professor Lynn Lubamersky’s, Memory and History: Inclusion and Exclusion in Public Commemoration. As Boise approaches it 150 birthday celebration, Lynn has launched a project via Facebook to gather collective memories of our community.
I moved to Boise in 1978 and throughout the years frequently struggled with feeling a sense of community or belonging. I claim responsibility for much of my attitude and chalk it up to an ongoing restless streak, at times an attitude of terminal uniqueness, and the grass is greener somewhere else mentality. The opportunity to pause and share memories with others is restorative and fosters a sense of belonging.
Again, a friend’s observation works well here, “Strange the way paths cross. In fact, only when they cross do you realize you’ve been on a path.” Sharing memories flushes out the threads of my life, our lives together, in the tapestry of Idaho.
Then life got better as we walked out of the historic Union Block to the lovely streets of Boise, we encountered a group of young people giving away free hugs. My friend, Noreen, and I laughed, hesitated and kept walking. Then the magic, the spark – the why not, and we let these extraordinary folks embrace us with a group hug, smiling and laughing. How simple the act and what extraordinary young people taking time to disperse a gentle, kind gesture to strangers on the street. The encounter put a smile on my face for days.