Do you tend to remember something that happened at a place years ago, or someone who was present, in a flash of memory when you visit it now? Is there a word or a name for that phenomenon?
Driving behind Vino’s Pizza after work this afternoon, I suddenly remembered being on their back patio, having dinner with a guy one Wednesday night before church, probably five years ago.
Walking down the steps toward the apartment pool tonight, for the first time this year, I suddenly remembered the morning a few years ago when I walked down those steps and saw a marmot up close. I startled him while he was grazing for breakfast, and he paused and looked up at me before he ducked into his lair.
Then in the pool, when my hand hit a large leaf, I remembered the night last year that I swam with a toad.
Neither of us intended to. I noticed the toad while I was swimming laps — and by noticed I mean recoiled and possibly even cussed when something zoomed through my myopic goggled field of vision.
A toad underwater is huge. And fast. It wasn’t actually that big, and after I realized what it was, we swam a while longer, me lengthwise, it crosswise. I helped it out of the pool and off into the grass.
And now when I drive through a particular intersection downtown, one I seldom pass through, I will probably remember what I saw there on the way home today while I waited at a red light: an urban bird waiting at the south corner, then walking across the street, in the crosswalk, and reaching the north corner just as the WALK sign changed.
Tell me one of your geographic memory stories?