One day, Memory, a traveler on Life’s highways arrived at a crossroads. To the right was the City of Remembrance and to the left was the City of Forgetfulness. Both cities were frightening for Memory – each in its own way.
Remembrance held remnants of old structures that Memory wanted never to enter again. There was a structure named Isolation and one named Abandonment. Also, there were the structures of Pain and Evil and Lies and Distrust. Once there had stood the structure of Hope, but now nothing remained of that structure but several bricks. These remaining bricks were overlooked so often, that Memory had to struggle to recapture their color and shape in her mind. She knew that Hope was a difficult structure to rebuild, but if she decided to return to Remembrance, of all the structures that needed rebuilding, Hope would be the one that she would choose.
On the other hand, in Forgetfulness, Memory would never have to see remnants of the old structures in Remembrance that hurt her and made her run away when she was just a child. In Forgetfulness she could just exist as she had been doing all these years and look forward to a future filled with the familiar blanks that were Memory’s security.
If she chose Forgetfulness, the road would be easier to travel and, after all, she was tired and felt she deserved the less painful ways that Forgetfulness offered. She could live in Oblivion, an old familiar structure that still stood intact and she could have her decisions made by the Past, a familiar custom in Forgetfulness, and not have to struggle with old structures ever again.
Deciding which road to take was very difficult. Other travelers happened along the way and Memory discussed this matter with some of them, but most just ignored her in their hurry to reach their own destinations. Memory wished they could help her decide. She wished she had the determination and certainty in her spirit that the other travelers appeared to have.
One day as she sat at the crossroads, agonizing over her predicament, a Stranger appeared at her side. The Stranger had traveled a very long way, but still looked fresh and not tired at all. After discussing the many things that concerned her with the Stranger, Memory was astonished when the Stranger prepared to leave. She saw a wisdom and understanding in the Stranger’s eyes that she had never seen before and she didn’t want to be alone.
Seeing her dismay, the Stranger spoke to her gently saying, “You know in your heart which way you must go. Listen to your heart.” Immediately, Memory gathered up her possessions and, taking the highway leading to Remembrance, she walked with conviction in her steps and determination in her heart. She knew the road would be difficult, and it was.
There were hardships along the way and she grew tired and lonely. When it seemed she could no longer go on, she remembered the Stranger’s appearance and departing words and she was encouraged.
After many days, Memory arrived in Remembrance and began her work rebuilding Hope. She never regretted her decision to travel this road. As she worked, all the blanks in her life disappeared and she grew stronger and began to make new choices. She also became able to destroy all the old remnants of Isolation, Abandonment, Pain, Evil, Lies and Distrust. In their place, she began building new structures for living such as Companionship, Health, Goodness, Truth and Trust.
Memory’s new dwelling of Hope was always open to other travelers – especially one very special Stranger.