The past previous nights, I have had a couple of bad dreams. Each morning I've thought about them unhappily for a bit, then put them out of my head completely. I didn't even remember them at all until last night, as I settled into "sleeping position". My body remembered what my brain forgot.
This afternoon as I drove my car out of the office parking lot on my way to lunch, I saw a single dried leaf in my path. Without thinking about it, I turned the steering wheel just a tiny bit, so the wheel would roll over it. I strained to listen, even though I wasn't sure what I was listening for. I didn't hear anything. I was inside a closed car after all.
My ears heard the remembered crunch though, and my skin and lungs felt the crispness of autumn air. When I was young, I often rode my bicycle to school. I would often play a game with myself in the fall. I'd maneuver my handlebars to try to roll over just one dried leaf on the road. If I steered just right, I could hit it with both the front and the back tire, and I'd always listen hopefully for two light crunching sounds as I whirled by.
It doesn't work as well in a car, but my body remembered anyway.
I have the picture of my grandmother and niece, the one I posted yesterday, set as my computer's desktop right now. Every time I glance at it, it looks as though my grandma has just turned to catch my eye and smile at me. It makes me want to smile back, and sometimes I do. Then I look at the baby's smile, and I just want to reach out and grab her chubby little fingers and swing her arm around.
I can feel that now, my hand remembers baby fingers wrapped around my left index finger. At the same time, my fingertips remember the crinkly paper-thin feel of the skin on Grandma's hand.
Even if all my hands really feel right now is a bunch of computer keys. My body remembers.