I went up a couple times in the last month or so. There are still the same trails through the woods around my old neighborhood. Everything in my life has changed in some form or another, I've been gone from there almost fifteen years, but those trails are still there. The same ones I'd run down with Grandma Donna. The same big rocks that I used to hang out on for hours are still there. When you are that close to something so familiar - it feels like you could be a split second away from life just like it was then. It smells the same. The thing I love the most is that the sounds are the same-the river, the tree branches, the way the dirt crunches under your shoes. Exactly the same.
Sometimes when you revisit things from when you were little, they look smaller. Something that used to tower over you now looks you straight in the eye. This place is bigger to me now than it ever was. I know I didn't understand the value of being young there when I actually lived there...I wasn't as analytical as I am now, I guess. I can understand, now, that the place gave me my wings. My creativity.
I've said to a few people that one of my goals in life is to buy back our old place. Take good care of it and whip it into shape. Make sure the carousel fireplace in the living room was ready for the winter and plant more mint out underneath the trees where it used to grow. Redo the tin roof and paint the door.
I know it's not right or healthy to live in the past, but there is something so sweet about honoring where you came from. Not the house, or even the town, but what it did for you- the texture it gave you as a person. The endless supply of stories and snapshots.