Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No Going Back

All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.

Edward Gibbon
Hello Jon
Hicks Park, Rye, New York. We lived there only for a year but it was one of the nicer places we moved through. It was a 2 story house. We lived on the first floor. The house was heated by a coal burning furnace. Once a week a truck would back up to the side door, put down a metal shoot and a load of coal would come rumbling down into the bin. When I got home from school I shoveled coal into the furnace so the house would be warm for my mother when she returned from work. I was 10 years old.

Out ftont there was a forest, big enough to get lost in. The neighbors on one side had a large back yard, so their house was not near us. There was another house behind us, over a fence. I nice lady lived there. I used to rake her leaves and clear up her yard. I had a bicycle.

On the other side was a mini forest with a dirt road that went around it. At the back was a garage no one used. It was in there that I made a model airplane. Down a sharp hill was Blind Brook.

It's a shame we couldn't afford to stay in that house. The house, the forest, the bicycle and the airplane all disappeared from my life somehow.

Decades later a friend in New York offered to drive me around to see some of the many places I had lived. I was so looking forward to Hicks Park again.

What a shock.!!

The forest was gone, replaced by a cheap housing development. The neighbor's large back yard now had a couple of houses. The mini forest was now a mess of two and three story houses much too close to each other. Even the place where the coal truck used to come had an ugly three story house, right next to the original house. The houses were all big and ugly, and none of them were occupied.

I learned a big lesson from that moment. Life the way you think it used to be can never be that way again. I wanted to get away from there as fast as I could.

You and I, our families, our neighborhoods, our country, the world has out grown the past. To try to return to the past is impassible. Forward into the known and the unknown is the only direction we can take if we expect to survive.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
No. 1895
Never Give Up


Geo. said...

Intriguing slant. The old days were just as real as these days. That now is built over then suggests a shortage of space. I'm glad you're somehow included in both --by whatever mechanism. I like spending my retirement in the company of good minds, like yours, and the local supply is scanty.

Jon said...

In "The Great Gatsby" Nick tells Jay Gatsby "You can't repeat the past". That statement is very true.

I have no desire to repeat the past, but occasionally I indulge in fond memories simply to expunge my unpleasant present situation.
Ironically, I usually choose to remember the good things about the past and ignore all the rotten things.

In essence, the past was no better than the present - - the memories merely soften with the great buffer of time.

As usual, your post is very thought-provoking.

Ken Riches said...

We can not always go back, but sometimes we can find a compromise location that satisfies the past and will be consistent with our future.

Rose~* said...

Unfortunately they label this as progress. My own parent's house has been sold to a developer, who has also bought four of the neighbouring houses to build a four story apartment. The city wants to densify the area and single houses on large lots are now becoming obsolete. With the high cost of owning a home, the affordability factor really seems to dictate how our land is used for housing. The days of large lots and wide open spaces to play are a thing of the past, indeed.