“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ― Virginia Woolf
This is a very important thought. Retrospection adds the body to our experiences. Emotion is raw at the time we experience it so time must often pass before it is moderated and becomes a thing of beauty. Reflection is a key skill that excellent writers possess.