Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I went back home yesterday. Again. As a kid I couldn't wait to get out of my small town. Away from everything small town about it. I didn't get that far away, either physically or emotionally. Now I find myself drawn back to my old friends and old neighborhood more and more. To the pot hole pocked concrete and asphalt streets that have shifted and shimmied with daily earthquakes and to the sky there that is bluer and clearer than anywhere I have ever been. We ride our old fogey bikes and talk about who lived where and how come everything looks smaller than it should.
My old house is long gone. Burned to the ground when the new family who moved into it ignored our warning and built a fire in the 100 year old earthquake damaged fireplace. A fabulous old farm house with stables in the back. A two block walk to downtown. Now there is a hideous duplex on the lot; a jarring reminder that few people preserve anymore.
I walked to the corner and looked up at the street sign. Fifth and West. The sign was newish and green but it was in the same spot where I stood with my Dad over 50 years ago, looking up at the sky for a glimpse of Sputnik. He said we saw it but it looked nothing like Captain Satellite's space ship to me, so I just took his word for it. Every lunar or solar eclipse we'd stand on the corner under the sign that said Fifth and West and look up into that clear sky.
I spent a lot of time looking up yesterday. Looking up at that beautiful blue sky peeking through the leaves of the same trees I saw as a child. I was looking through older eyes but the view was exactly as I remembered it and I pretended that no time had passed.