Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
I often look back on those childhood days, now long gone and wonder where the time has gone. And, as I find myself growing older, I find myself doing this more often, sitting alone at times, contemplating, and looking back. It's not that I desire to re-do my childhood. For the most part, aside from those times spent with my grandparents which were wonderful times of play and discovery, my childhood, for the most part, is something I would much rather forget...
...but then, there is that other part of me that remembers those special Halloween nights, going from door-to-door...the anxiety of waiting for Santa to arrive. Bicycle riding from morning til night...running barefoot through the grass...snowball fights, snow forts...spinning around in a rainfall. Sleeping outdoors in a tent in my backyard and watching the stars and the moon. I remember when I would catch tadpoles and lightning bugs and play hide and seek in the bushes and wooded area surrounding our house. Yes, while the children at school may have bullied me, times were not always bad.
And when I mention these thoughts to hubby, he has graciously offered to drive me there, to my parents' first home, but I have always refused. I have my memories, and I want to remember the place it as it was, not some unrecognizable place with no home to go back to...so, you can imagine my surprise when...
...yesterday, through the satellite imagery of Google maps, I discovered that I not only could see my old neighborhood , but I was also able to take a step back in time. Amazingly, although nearly 60 years have passed since we first moved there, the neighborhood is still much the same. My house still sits right where I it always was, and aside from a few improvements and minus the hedge, it was still very much the house I grew up in. In fact, not very much had changed.
To know after absence the familiar street and road and village and house is to know again the satisfaction home.
In the 1950's, when we first moved in, the neighborhood was new. The cookie cutter houses had just been built, and aside from color, all looked mostly the same. There was no grass; my parents planted it themselves along with the trees that now stand taller than the house. The streets themselves had not changed and I was able to trace the route I took on my bicycle on my daily go-rounds. The wooded area next to me house has not been destroyed, and if anything, it stands more beautiful than I remembered. A car sits in the same driveway where my mom's yellow Edsel once sat. The brook remains and continues to run under the streets in the concrete tunnels on which my initials may still remain. Would you believe that even the Dairy Queen sits in the same spot? It is almost as if I have stumbled into the land the time forgot.
Home is a word that carries all kinds of means for us. For most of us it usually means love, security, and comfort. Yes, that was my home, and it is nice to see it as it was and remember, but today it belongs to someone else who, maybe one day, will look back with fond memories. Because, the truth is, I have a new home now, and as much as I may think of that little house of 60 years ago as my home, I can never go back. It belongs to a place and time that lives within that special place within my heart.
Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.
--John Ed Pearce--