There was a time when my world was small…
The safe confines of small town America were the only boundaries I ever knew as I grew up. Nothing else existed past the signs that marked the edge of town. More important was the fact that nothing really mattered past those signs as well.
As I looked out of my front window, I felt as if the whole world was spanning the vast, almost infinite boundaries of my neighborhood. The axis upon which earth rotated was located right in the center of my backyard. This was indeed the the center of the universe and everything that happened revolved around that place. It was home. It was my neighborhood. It was my world.
This is the place where I grew up. Where I didn’t think twice about playing on someone else’s lawn. Riding my bike with reckless abandon. Where, besides the fact that your territory occasionally got invaded by a passing car, the block was your territory.
The days were still long and back then kids could still go for walks at dusk without fear of ending up on a milk carton. The long summer days filled with swimming, riding bikes, playing games and hanging out with your friends. The cold, snow filled days of winter, were filled with sledding, skating and the occasional snowball fight.
The thrill of growing up in innocence and the memories of summer and of winter mornings seen through the eyes of a child are burned forever in my mind. The smell of home cooked meals. Surfing the three stations of our old black and white television because there was too much to see than just watching one channel. It was all wrapped up in the security of living in a place and time where the only thing you had to worry about was getting home before the streetlights came on. All the people, and all the houses that surrounded you were as familiar as the things in your own room. And you believed they would never change. It was magical. It was perfect.
Maybe we weren’t aware of it then, amid the school fundraisers, the scalloped potatoes and the sounds of children playing…
But life was rich there…in our small sanctuary.
Our Small Town America.
It was hard to imagine anything could ever change.
I miss those days…how about you?
But then again, maybe it’s just me…