Thursday, January 3, 2013

The City of Kalamazoo

It feels like I am my 12 year old self again roaming the streets of my neighborhood with a camera attached to my hands. Every thing around me is just about the same but I can see it differently now. The tree I took my first picture of was still there at the end of my block, just a little bigger now. The stop sign across the street was still as red as I remember it, the houses all in tact. I take a left at the intersection past the giant house on the corner with a white picket fence with the yellow lab that always seems to be outside and barking at the people who pass by. Down their driveway to the street where I always walk even in the summer, fall and spring, when the side walks aren't icy. A couple yards farther I took a picture of my large group of friends from high school mooning the camera lined up across middle of the street under the lights. I always smile when remembering that night. 

Walking still, I soon approach the neighborhood school built of old red bricks that takes up that entire side of the block. I don't have many fond memories on the inside of that school, but I have spent some time out on the play ground on the opposite end of the block. Even as I got older the destination for many of my friends and I's time together was this very place. Through time though, the park has taken different faces through the years, new equipment was installed as the old broke with age or became dangerous. I carefully and excitedly walked on the track coated in a compacted sheet of ice through the snow and wood ship mix, up the stairs of the play equipment, to the top. 

Everything looks different from up here down. I move my feet to the edge holding onto some bars over head. 

Things look really different from up here. 

Or is it just that I am a completely different person? or that I am taller now? or that my perceptions have changed? or is it perspective?

Probably a combination of all of these play into my feeling on top of the play set which made me think about the ways I learn from past experiences by returning to them in thought. Our experiences make us who we are in the present and without returning to process what we have gone through to gain knowledge there is no personal growth. Thinking back on our lives gives us an opportunity to help ourselves become a better us and extend what we learn to our loved ones.  


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