Every time I walk between my parents’ home and my Nanny’s home I am struck by the changelessness of their place. It’s a journey I’ve made hundreds of thousands of times in my life – down the little hill to Nanny and Papa’s. The miles I put on my legs and bicycles and imagination over the years there are countless. From sledding parties in the field to adventures behind the fox sheds, I lived and loved and cried and played and learned and raged and hurt and grew there.
And it never changes.
The lilac trees still stand in Nanny’s yard. There’s still a big puddle on the left-hand side of the driveway between our homes every time it rains, no matter how many times Dad fixes it with the tractor. The little brook still holds just enough water to soak your feet all year round. The Sweet William always grows in that little dip in the field. The wooden door at Nanny’s is still a bugger.
Sometimes I don’t realize how different we’ve become, how much we’ve grown. Often, even.
There was a time when I thought there was nothing as empty than the nothingness there, and now it’s the quiet and solitude that makes the place so full.
There was a time when I thought that anything would do, and now I strive for better and better still every day.
There was a time when I had to carry F or pull him in a wagon or sled, and now we race and run and jump in puddles and snowbanks.
There was a time when I thought I had to teach F, and now I know that he’s teaching me every day.
There was a time I believed that who we are is static, and but every time I go home I realize how different I’ve become. And the best part of going home? Remembering who I was, where I came from and how it has made me who I am today.